The National Gallery in London has been collaborating with Sound Design students on a new project entitled ‘Transcriptions: sound’. The project invites students from Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication to create a three-minute soundscape inspired by a painting of their choice from the Gallery’s vast collection. Wildlife and environmental sounds feature heavily in many of the pieces and the results are brilliant. Many examples are available on the National Gallery’s website, however if you happen to be in London I would definitely recommend taking the Sounds of the Gallery audio tour. Nothing beats actually standing in front of the painting while listening to the accompanying soundscape. I did find the limited number of soundscapes on the audio tour a bit disappointing, especially as the website hosts so many fine examples, but perhaps the tour will be expanded in due course. There’s certainly a lot of inspiration to be found in the Gallery and if the collaboration continues I can see a strong body of work being developed.
In addition to student pieces, several well known sound artists have lent their talents to the project. Chris Watson produced a beautiful composition inspired by John Constable’s ‘The Cornfield’, while Jem Finer composed a delicate piece in response to Monet’s ‘The Thames below Westminster’.
Visit the National Gallery’s website for more information about this exciting project