Ole Jørgensen about "TON8"
TON8 is a psycho-acoustic project based on experiments with aural drones, soundscapes and resonance, as well as neuroscientific research on human sound perception and processing.
The project is inspired by the entrainment principle. This principle describes how various oscillating processes interact and can influence each other and how two (or more) oscillating systems temporarily interact in a degree of synchronization or attain an interdependent relationship. The principle describes how the synchronous interplay between an attendee and an event can make the listener physically share the events rhythmic patterns.
In this project, this effect is mainly achieved through the use of monaural beats. Monaural beats are the result of the arithmetic sum of the waveforms of two tones as they add or subtract from one another. As a result the sound becomes louder and quieter and louder again in accordance with the frequency of the sound wave. The TON8 piece proposed for SPOR festival will operate within the spectrum of 4-7 Hz. In neuroscience, this is known as the Theta band and refers to the oscillatory level of neuronal activity within the brain. Theta waves seem to be involved in short-term memory.
The goal is to encourage the establishment of short-term memories in the participants, through the use of brainwave entrainment. The idea of brainwave entrainment is related to the assumption that the human brain has a tendency to change its dominant EEG frequency (the electrical activity along the scalp produced by the firing of neurons within the brain) towards the frequency of a dominant external stimulus. Aural stimuli have proven as a very effective external source for entraining the EEG frequency.
The piece is inspired by a scientific approach to the phenomenon of sound. The conception is based on mathematical, physical and cognitive principles and not so much on an actual compositional thought, though there is progress and change. The work is presented as a spatial installation, where the experience is amplified when the audience moves around in the room, turns his back and even talks during the piece. Due to the low frequencies and relatively high volume, the piece is a very physical experience.
Ole Jørgensen is a member of Selectricity, an art collective based in Aarhus. The collective performs experimental researches in the fields of graphics, architecture, movie and sound.
Commisioned and produced by SPOR festival. Supported by Danish Composers Society and KODA’s Fund for Social and Cultural Purposes and The Danish Arts Foundation.