Soundscapes Explores Acoustic Technology in Exploratorium’s New Kanbar Forum

Event has passed (Tue Oct 1, 2013 - Thu Oct 31, 2013)
Art, Museums, Science Museum


September 2013 – June 2014

Experience sound as never before with Soundscapes, a series of listening experiences designed for the Kanbar Forum, the Exploratorium’s new experimental multidisciplinary performance space. Explore artist-created audio experiments that embrace the theater’s Meyer Constellation Sound system, one of the most advanced in the world. From a spectacular audiovisual flight in the Airship Eureka above the South Bay salt flats, to an interactive installation that allows visitors to play with the movement of sounds in the space, each Soundscapes installation will explore the spatialization of sound and how it’s experienced in different locations in the theater at a moment in time.

Soundscapes can be experienced on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. and the first and last Sundays of every month from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (subject to change).

Beginning September 3, 2013, Soundscapes will feature Floating by artists Wayne Grim and Phoebe Tooke – an audiovisual experience from aboard the Airship Eureka as it flies over the South Bay Salt Flats. Sound for Floating was first created by digitally enhancing the prominent natural frequencies in the recordings of the Airship Eureka's engines and propellers. Using eight separate tracks, these recordings were manipulated to remove most of the original audio. What visitors hear is an auditory “ghost image” of the Airship’s sound.

On October 1, 2013, Fathom an interactive installation by San Francisco composers Shane Myrbeck, and Emily Shisko is slated to debut. Shisko and Myrbeck are collaborating to create an interactive auditory experience that will allow visitors to play with the complexity of Meyer Sound’s SpaceMap software. Fathom is made up of six distinct sounds that are always present in the room. Four of the sounds are associated with one of four interfaces placed near the stage apron. Visitors can determine the state of the piece by approaching one of the interfaces and moving the associated sound around and above them via the glowing hemisphere on the interface. The other two sounds will be moving around the room on their own trajectory. When visitors move two or more sounds to the same position in the room, they will fuse into composed structures of varying length.

Each Soundscapes installation will be on exhibit for approximately three to six months, and will become part of a rich new library of listening experiences at the Exploratorium.

About the Kanbar Forum
The new 3,600-square-foot Kanbar Forum opens at the Exploratorium in September 2013, and will feature a top-of-the-line Meyer Constellation sound system, offering artists and musicians new ways to play with sound. A multi-use space, the Forum can be configured in a variety of ways, from a traditional theater setup to a cabaret-style arrangement of multi-level tables and chairs. Depending on the arrangement, the room—which can accommodate between 160 and 200 people—will host film screenings, After Dark adult-only evening events, live music, lectures, and a variety of special events, including three new upcoming evening series. The Forum will also be home to a new series of sound installations called Soundscapes created by guest artists and artists-in-residence, and a new music series Resonance hosted by pianist and music critic Sarah Cahill.


  1. Exploratorium Pier 15, San Francisco, CA