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Aural Identities

The Sound of Architectural Spaces

Every architectural space possesses an intrinsic aural identity, which to uncover was the aim of this soundscape project in the scope of the Sound Recording and Production Techniques module in Autumn 2012. I examined the aural identities of an existing place by carrying out one of the acoustical experiments that Sheridan and Van Lengen (2003) described and employed in architectural education for just such a purpose.

The experiment is based on an acoustic, recursive installation called “Sitting in a Room” by the artist Alvin Lucier. I re-enacted his recursive recording technique employing digital means. This included measuring and recording the impulse response of an architectural space and applying the the digital reverberation effect onto a speech track. The soundscape documents the process of the uncovering of the natural frequencies of the room, in this case the People's Palace on Mile End campus, which gradually come to the fore by the recursive application of the room's reverberation effect.


Sheridan, T., & Van Lengen, K. (2003). Hearing Architecture - Exploring and Designing the Aural Environment. Journal of Architectural Education, pp. pp. 37-44.


Sound Recording and Production Techniques | Queen Mary University of London | Autumn 2012 | Instructor: Dr. Michael Terrell | TA: Nela Brown