Liquid Noise

Liquid Noise

Dan Pollard, Pete Bennett & Annie Moir

Liquid Noise originated from the documentary A Voice Above Nature, in which we used cymatics to visualise the effect of underwater noise pollution on marine life. The installation consists of a grid of pools of saltwater in upturned speakers, allowing the audience to see how the distinct patterns of whale song are disturbed by washes of marine noise pollution. In this installation you will enter a video call or ‘hide’ in which you will – in silence – observe the cymatic visualiation of whale song playing across a grid of upturned speakers. However, we will ask you to leave your microphone on, and any ambient background noises (a car going past, or the neighbour’s DIY) will be fed into the installation, obscuring the whale song and representing marine noise pollution in the oceans.

Each performance will last 4’33” with the audience being let into the video call in small groups. Our aim is to create a sound work that encourages shared silence and contemplation whilst embracing the unintended sounds that arise from group video calls. Moving beyond being a novel visualisation method, this installation will explore the boundaries of participation, performance and stillness as a musical gesture, while highlighting the increasing threat to marine wildlife from noise pollution.


Development of this installation has been funded by the University of Bristol’s Brigstow Institute Ideas Exchange.


You will need to be able to join a Zoom video call, and you will need to use headphones. Please leave your audio turned on (but please NO TALKING). In the Zoom preferences please turn off “automatically adjust microphone volume”. If you choose to leave your video on is up to you. We recommend watching the installation in full screen. In addition, audience members that have access to microphones will be able to use ‘extended technique’ by placing the microphone around their environment, such as outside their window, capturing ambient sounds to feed into the video call.

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