Chamber of AWE at DevCon4
Conceived and Performed by Laura Inserra
Oct. 30 - Nov. 2, 2018
Prague Congress Center - Czech Republic
The annual Ethereum conference for cryptocurrency
designers, developers, researchers, and artists.
The Ethereum Foundation hosts Devcon to educate and empower our community to build decentralized applications, and to bring Ethereum protocols, tools, and culture to the world.
This is a conference for builders: designers, UX researchers, smart contract devs, blockchain researchers, client implementers, test engineers, infrastructure operators, community organizers, and even artists in the community.
More info at https://devcon4.ethereum.org
Chambers of AWE (Acoustic Waves Emergence) are deep, immersive sound experiences created with ancient and modern acoustic instruments, augmented by cutting edge technology. Conceived and performed by Laura Inserra, they are a bridge between ancient technology (wisdom traditions and music) and modern technology (high tech and science).
These sound sources made by modern and ancient worldwide acoustic instruments create immersive environments with a vast spectrum of frequencies which facilitate powerful transformational experiences. In these settings body and mind merge with the sound and transit to deeper inner landscapes journeys, traveling beyond the field of cognitive perceptions.
Chambers of AWE are unique combination of Laura's recorded ambisonic sound architectures and live performances. Using the most advanced technology, she amplifies the instruments’ impact by entering the sound, augmenting it, and yet maintaining the integrity of the original source and its harmonics.
At DevCon4 the 'chambers' are going to be a sound and lighting reactive installation in a forum hall transformed for four days in a decompression room. The participants will enter an invisible but palpable 60 foot diameter sphere of sound created by an ambisonic system of 16 speakers and 4 subwoofers. Laura will be in the center of the sphere with 8 mics, each one connected to 2 speakers, plus 2 mics connected to the whole sound system. This will allow her to map and create live sound architectures in addition to her pre-recorded tracks.
The ongoing intertwined pre-recorded and live music will create an ineffable immersive sound environment. In addiction to that she will perform twice a day guided transformative sound experiences. A one-of-a-kind project that brings the highest resolution of modern sound and lighting design.
The Devcon4’s decompression room installation will offer a calming atmosphere where a lush instrumental soundscape will be augmented by a generative lighting experience. This room will allow guests to unplug (both metaphorically and literally), sit back, relax, and take time to breathe.
Thanks to the Aurora system by Limbic Media, Lightswitch’s lighting installation follows the music in a unique way, combining traditional lighting design artistry with the capabilities of AI. A central LED candelabra will reach from the ground, in varying lengths, towards the ceiling, where a web of LED festoons will reach out across the room. As Laura Inserra’s music evolves, the AI will map the different sounds throughout the installation creating a unique pattern every time, following her mood and sound. Her multi- instrumental approach to meditation allows for an ever evolving palette to choose from, making this a very dynamic and enchanting room.
A lighting designer will be on site to carefully select attributes for the AI to feed from, and as the day progresses the colors will shift, the patterns will change. The environment will reflect the very human side of tech, and the need to relax, regenerate, and decompress from the pressures of the world. Our goal is not to light a room per se but to create an environment where Laura Inserra’s music can encompass a wide range of senses, enveloping the attendees with sound and light while they catch a breath, relax, and revitalize themselves in one of the most unique meditation experiences.
Chambers of A.W.E. are based on the fact that when we are in ‘awe’ we naturally enter a state of mindfulness and presence with our multidimensional 'body'. We naturally are in the 'here and now’. In Laura’s work the awe is created by Acoustic Waves Emergence. As in alchemy and in nature, the emergent property allows the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts, acquiring qualities that its parts do not have. In the digital era, we actually went in the other direction: as we created more compact and lighter formats (CDs, MP3s etc.), we cut off a lot of frequencies deemed ‘useless’ without realizing we were losing a lot of their inaudible, powerful impact. There are frequencies our ears do not hear but our bones, our cells, our mind perceive them. On top of it, we are not being exposed as much to ancient acoustic sources of sound and instruments, which used to bring people into different states of consciousness. Those experiences were essential opportunities for healing, well-being, and transformation. After all, we are made of cells vibrating on different frequencies, which means we are ‘Sound’. That is why those experiences allowed people to amplify their senses and connect with the vast, holistic intelligence of their being and environment. These days, not only we have lost those experiences, but we live in an environment filled with disruptive frequencies and sounds.
Chambers of A.W.E. brings back those lost frequencies as sources of nourishment and tools to expand our senses, our body intelligence, our awareness.
A lot of those sounds are in the lower frequency range. Many apps and devices use that range to generate states of relaxation, meditation and enhanced creativity. Yet those waves are made by synthesizers and oscillators, which isolate the frequency in order to reproduce it. Nothing in nature is ‘isolated’. Acoustic sources of sound therefore have a much richer spectrum and texture of frequencies (which no synthesizer can match), reaching and touching our system in a multidimensional way. On the other hand, since most acoustic instruments do not reach the lowest frequency range, Laura uses technology as a key to enter those fields and augment them.
Chambers of A.W.E. is an inspiration in many fields, it is sparking conversations for researchers, and it creates renewed opportunities to explore and experience the ancient power of sound.
Laura Inserra is a multi-instrumentalist, sound therapist, composer, teacher, and event producer from Sicily. She is specialized in the transformative and healing power of sound, sympathetic resonance, and binaural beats.
Thanks to her musical and spiritual studies with teachers from ancient and modern schools of wisdom, she has developed a unique form of healing practice called 'Harmonizing Therapy'. Using sacred sounds, rhythms, and melodies, she creates Inner Landscapes Journeys to facilitate and nurture personal transformation and self awareness. She applies this method in one on one sessions, as well as group settings, concerts, workshops, and company retreats.
Laura is a classically trained musician with a strong improvisational background. Her music displays a rich palette of global sounds using ancient and modern instruments which she infuses with a unique blend of harmonies and melody lines on top of intricate rhythmic expressions. She performs in a variety of public, private, and site-specific events including retreats, and sacred ceremonies. She composes soundtracks and sound design for corporate events, performing arts, art installations, and movies. More info at www.laurainserra.com