SCALA: Installation at the Tabakalera International Centre for Contemporary Culture, Spain

Pauline Oliveros leading a deep listening practice at the Incubate festival. Photo by Incubate.

The Vocal Constructivists’ recording of Pauline Oliveros’ Sound Patterns (a track from our 2014 album Walking Still that now has over 29,150 listens on Spotify) finds a new life in SCALA, a purpose-made sound installation at the Tabakalera International Centre for Contemporary Culture in San Sebastián, Spain. SCALA recontextualizes the Vocal Constructivists’ recording, adapting it for a three-dimensional architectural space. Spanish sound artist Xabier Erkizia used tracks mastered by our producer Antony Pitts to create a sophisticated audio system that spatializes the original recording across eight speakers, placed at various levels in a stairwell. The depth of the space, and its resonant acoustics, allow the stereo image to explore stereophonic verticality as well as horizontality. SCALA will play every 30 minutes for five months (from December 2020 to May 2021). A brief excerpt of the installation can be heard here. Preceded by our sound, the Vocal Constructivists look forward to performing live at Tabakalera in the future. Watch Oier Etxeberria, Head of Contemporary Art at Tabakalera, discuss SCALA and the legacy of Pauline Oliveros here with Vocal Constructivist director Jane Alden here: 2021 towards a new listening. (Scroll all the way down to below the second picture of Pauline for the play button).