Chinatown, UK
June, 2021
  • Dome construction. Same as KA3
  • Speaker Rig. Idem
  • Sound card. Idem
  • Software. Still loving Reaper
  • Lighting, not yet

KA4 was showcased at the Open City Documentary Festival in London’s bustling Chinatown. I was worried the somewhat awkward way of even getting inside the dome would put people off, but it really didn’t, and it seems there’s something irresistible about the object; it’s a head-turner and people want to experience it. The size of the KA3 makes it hard to generate a collective experience, it simply won’t hold much more than 2 or 3 people at a time, and that’s something we feel needs addressing. Central to the KA concept is very much a collective experience, and for that we need to scale up. I was a little disappointed that elements of the sound design that moved around or had a distinct spatial placement were lost on some of the audience. This was a function of both the narrow sweet spot inside the KA, and the actual setting; a rather ‘live’ room with lots of chatter around the KA, but it’s something to be developed and solved. The KA4 sound design used ambisonic recordings of nightclubs’ empty spaces during lockdown, and those spaces as we re-entered them, to try and create a hyper-real sonic journey. Parts of the piece worked really well, but I felt a live element was missing, a way to perform our instrument, and this needed to be developed for KA5.