Getting the chance to create the music and sound of the Creek Monster Habitat for the Waller Creek Show 2019 was an incredibly rewarding experience for me. I was recommended for the class by a previous professor that I’d taken a class with, but reading about the installation and what it represented, I knew I wanted to be a part of the project. I’m studying to become a music composer and getting the chance to work on such an immersive and collaborative project with people from so many different concentrations was really exciting to me.
My team consisted of two other music and sound Arts and Entertainment majors where we were responsible for creating the music and sound of Creek Monster. Initially, our goal was to all contribute to one music track and get it to around 10 minutes or so in length, but what ended up happening was that we each wrote our own segment of music which would play in various spots throughout the installation. My team members wrote the music for the entryway and inside the nest; I wrote the music for the outside of the nest. However, writing the music was the easy part.
Aside from creating the music, my team and I were also in charge of speaker placement, where we had the use of 16 channels at our fingertips. This was a brand new experience for all of us. As involved as I am in music, I realized that I’d never been in charge of running speakers/sound before. The logistical side of everything was an entirely new experience for me; I had no idea that I would be helping to measure over 1,000 ft of speaker wire and place 16 rock speakers in their places when I first started this project!
My team ended up purchasing 2 speakers that were hidden within the inside of the nest and 14 rock speakers for outside the nest to better camouflage them with the Creek Monster environment that we were striving to create. We collaborated with the lighting team to discuss how long we needed the cable length to be and figured out where the control box would be set up. During load in week, we measured the speaker wire and placed the rock speakers in their spots, checking levels to make sure each bit of music didn’t overly interfere with another. We used Q Lab to coordinate all the sounds and music with their corresponding speakers.
When I initially saw the finished installation, I was really impressed. After seeing the instillation fully set with lights and sound, I was blown away by what we’d accomplished in such a short period of time. It was also really amazing to see spectators reactions to the installation.
People seemed really taken with the exhibit, especially little kids. I saw multiple kids throwing the luminescent UV leaves up in the air and laughing, or pointing excitedly at the nest with awed expressions. I’m so happy that I was able to contribute to such a collaborative and unique Austin experience!