When sound becomes a medium in art work we may declare it as sound art. Although there is no distinct definition of what has to be part of a sound art piece, the sound itself acts as the most important component.
Sound art has many faces. It may, among other things, be a mechanical installation that produces sound, a sound focused performance, a soundscape composition or even ambient or experimental music. One might debate where music ends and sound art begins since a musical composition may as well act as a medium to produce a certain feeling. At this point we have to make a distinction of the behavior and structure of the sounds used and since the definitions vary I like to give you my personal one.
While the composition in music and the feeling that it produces is the most memorable effect of the music piece, a sound art rather puts certain sounds in focus making the sounds used to narrative sound objects. Those sound objects may move into the focus of listening, evolve or change in time and vanish again. With this in mind one could see ambient music as sound art since ambient music offers a lot of space for narrative sounds or sound objects whereas a rock song contains an arrangement of instruments which act as whole.
Sound Art contains sound objects and those objects can be created with different intentions.
In the project: Event Horizon – Cosmic Sound Art for instance I imagined an event within the universe and created sounds that should transport this event to the imagination of the listener. Each sound does represent an object within the scenario, may it be stars or even radiation. While this is a depicting composition, sound art may as well follow a different purpose.
The project: Soothing, Sound Art Video, does not intend to give any associations. Here the focus is on the sample of the sticky tape and the complexity of the sound. While listening to the sample over and over again it becomes a hypnotic effect.
I like to create Sound Art once in a while to play around with my fantasy and to explore new sounds. Especially with the help of the emphasis of sound objects it gives me the possibility to get to now sounds, their character and their produced feelings better and to understand their structure.
You can find all sound art pieces I created within the Blog under the tag Sound Art.