‘Saltwater crescendo’ is a project responding to our semester brief ‘Jelly Worlds’, where we, Design Investigations, partnered with Vienna’s Natural History Museum to imagine and speculate deep time and alternate evolutionary histories. The brief emerged from NHM’s desire to explore stories around the recently discovered Gabon fossils that suggest multicellular life existed 2 billion years ago.
‘Saltwater crescendo’ is a project taking its listener on an evocative sonic journey into the ocean soundscape of an alternative version of early planet earth. Simulating a sounding evolution spanning over millions of years condensed in two and a half brief minutes, the project invites us to leave behind the narrow boundaries of human hearing and perception, allowing us to experience the increasing changes of an ocean soundscape over deep time.
The soundscape transitions from the lifeless ocean, over twirly bacterial concertos inspired by real bacterial noises, to the audible evolution of a fictional Gabonionta-based species. This species, over the course of millions of years, successfully leverages the soundwaves of their surrounding waters for their own benefit and development of what we humans could consider as songs.
Representing the changing and developing soundscape of a complex ecosystem emerging in an alternative history of earth, the project examines what influence sound has on life and vice versa.