Ma-Loop is a sound installation connecting three buildings on the site of the Blackheath Halls and Conservatoire arts school in south-east London, by Jack Jelfs in collaboration with Jo Townshend Architects and the 2016 London Festival of Architecture.
Interlinked microphones and speakers transplant the background noise from one building into the next. Over an interval lasting several minutes the sensitivity of the microphones rises and falls, allowing sounds to repeatedly loop around the buildings, changing and mutating with each repetition. In this way, form is generated from formless sonic ground, tying together the three separate-yet-linked spaces.
The piece is partly inspired by the Japanese architectural concept ma, which is variously translated as ‘place’ or ‘the gap between two structural parts’. It suggests negative space, an equal significance given to form as to non-form. “Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating” - John Cage.
The piece will be running between 10am - 6pm at Blackheath Halls, Lee Road, London SE3 9RQ