Peter Batchelor: composer, sound designer


a series of massively multichannel installation works




GRIDs is a series of sound sculptures involving large arrays of many (in some cases hundreds of) loudspeakers. Arranged geometrically, these permit the generation of extremely intricate spatial sound environments that encourage ambulatory investigation and scrutiny. Each installation accommodates a different way of experiencing multichannel space, in terms of both the physical arrangement/orientation of its loudspeakers (exploring sculptural surface vs interior, sonic projection vs immersion) and its relationship with the surrounding environment.

Studies on Canvas (2004) presents a flat-panel array of loudspeakers behind a blank canvas. The work is designed to be viewed like a conventional painting, with the speaker-space ‘framed’ by the boundaries of the canvas, and presents 'pictures' in sound which listeners are encouraged to explore—standing back to reveal the entire image, looking more closely to experience the inner detail.

Beyond (2014), a collaborative installation by Pete Batchelor and Ian Bilson, consists of a series of geodesic sphere structures with speakers placed in the vertices between the triangular panels of each. The structures are acoustically transparent, and the installation is conceived such that listeners experience the soundscape beyond the playing loudspeakers as an extension of that presented by the installation itself.

Beyond was preceded by the similar, hemispheric DOME (2012) installation, which explores similar themes.
Cascade (2018), a collaborative installation by Pete Batchelor and Ian Bilson, presents a flat-panel array of loudspeakers, similar to Studies on Canvas, but this time suspended above the listener. In a manner comparable to James Turrell’s skyspace series, in which simple apertures in the ceilings of otherwise bare spaces open to the sky above, it is conceived to operate as a portal to an external (fictional) sonic ‘reality’.

Orbits (2019), a collaborative installation by Pete Batchelor and Mike Blow, involves six speakers mounted on the ends of tilted spinning arms. The piece was developed with support from the Philharmonia Orchestra and conceived to be presented in the Clore Ballroom at the Southbank Centre, to complement a performance of Peter Eötvös's Multiversum. Combines sounds derived from Philharmonia instruments with NASA space sounds, it considers orbital motions of phenomena from the atomic to the cosmic.
Contraption (expected 2019), a collaborative installation by Pete Batchelor and Ian Bilson, involves five cyclindrical columns, each containing 80 speakers. Sounds travel along, around and between these columns such that detailed, playful ‘mechanical’ generation/propagation of acousmatic sound materials occurs within and across cylinders.

CLUSTER (expected 2020 (prototype 2011)) presents the grid in three dimensions (e.g. 4x4x4) as a cuboid-shaped suspended walk-through array, and thus departs from the surface-based configuration of the other setups. As such, the listener is enveloped by the sound, but can navigate it, investigating zones of activity along with individual speakers as point sources.

Currents (expected 2020), a collaborative installation by Pete Batchelor and Ian Bilson, presents a globe-like spherical arrangement of 162 speakers radiating sound outwards. Spatialisation is based on atmospheric data derived from internet services; sounds therefore travel across the surface of the sphere.