The Wall of Sound reimagines a sampler-sequencer for public space and use

In an oversized, lo-fi electronic sound instrument, the project from Warszawa, PL’s panGenerator lets the public collaborate on sonic graffiti.

The Wall of Sound was commissioned by the group for Katowice Street Art 2019: Urban Sound, in the south of Poland. It’s a big web of hexagonal nodes, each with small controls and description so you can record sound, then sequence its playback.

The components will be familiar to anyone working with DIY electronics – some ATmega 328 (in the nodes), some ATTiny for the links, and “some cheap sound recording / playback chips that are giving the whole thing a lo-fi vibe.” (It’s the ISD1820 voice recording modulecheck it in action.) Actually, maybe the independence of all those nodes is the most interesting part – a uniquely lo-fi modular.

“So in practice, it seems people are really enjoying it — quite a lot of comments on them having fun,” co-creator Jakub Koźniewski tells us. “It’s more like a sound playground than a serious instrument.” Multiple people can play it at once, for collaboration.

And all of that means that it’s really the public who determine what this thing is about. “We approached it like – ok, we’re just gonna trust the audience,” says Jakub. “There could be beautiful things on the wall coexisting with more controversial ones,” he says. “That’s how we understand public digital art – the public is responsible for the outcome.”

Curators: Piotr Ceglarek / Zuzanna Waltoś from Biuro Dźwięku Katowice. Photos by Maciej Jędrzejewski.

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The Wall of Sound [panGenerator]

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