Pneumatic Sound Field

Installation (2006-2007) by Edwin van der Heide.

Pneumatic Sound Field

PSF at the museum Boijmans van Beuningen, DEAF07

In the installation Pneumatic Sound Field a continuum is being created between rhythmical perception of sound, spatial perception of sound and the perception of pitch. A horizontal plane of pneumatic valves is used to produce wind, pressure and sound. The result is a breathing sound environment above the audience.

Acoustical sound consists of temporary pressure changes traveling through the atmosphere of the air around us. While loudspeakers most often use moving membranes to produce these pressure changes in Pneumatic Sound Field compressed air is being used to produce acoustical sound. The compressed air is connected to very fast controllable pneumatic valves that release the pressurized air in the 'open' air. This results in a controllable pressure change in the atmosphere around the valve. Because the compressed air has always a higher pressure than the atmosphere not only sound is being produced but also a bit of wind. The result can be seen as wind that contains sound.

Pneumatic Sound Field
consists of a grid of 7 x 6 (= 42) independently controllable discrete valves with a total width of about 10 meters and a total depth of about 20 meters. Sound traverses this field with differing speeds, directions, and intensities. The patterns are created in a generative way and are related to spatial movements of wind. These patterns are following each other up or happening simultaneously resulting in different developments, densities and spatial interferences. The audience is challenged to determine their own position within this environment.


Interview with Edwin van der Heide (DEAF07) from V2_ on Vimeo.

Concept and Realization: Edwin van der Heide
Production: Pneumatic Sound Field has been realised in the context of a Tesla Berlin e.v. residency and premiered as part of sonambiente 2006
Production Assistant: Eckehard Güther
Audio rate valve control interface: Sukandar Kartadinata


A grid of 7 x 6 independently controllable discrete valves with a total width of about 10 meters and a total depth of about 20 meters
Contact us for more information on pricing and for the technical requirements of the work.
Detailed information is available on installation, space requirements and shipping.

Pneumatic Sound Field from Edwin van der Heide on Vimeo.

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