Audiovisual installation

Seaphony -
The Symphony of Life on Planet Ocean

Seaphony is the new spatial sound & light art installation by Chris Watson, Tony Myatt and Theresa Baumgartner. The site-specific immersive installation is part of the exhibition Seaphony, which enables you to experience the depth and vastness of the ocean and its unheard-of soundscape through spatial sound, light and imagination. Seaphony celebrated its world premiere in May 2022 at the Alte Münze in Berlin Mitte.

Seaphony gives the sea its own voice. The 500 square metre, three-dimensional audiovisual installation makes the natural soundscape of the ocean spatially tangible. At the same time, the dramaturgy and staging in the room emphasises the contrast between this fascinating soundscape and the increasing noise pollution caused by humans.

The richest world of sound on earth is hidden in the oceans. With an underwater journey from pole to pole, staged as an immersive three-dimensional audio-visual sound art installation, Seaphony takes us along the great ocean currents from the southern Polar Sea to the vastness of the Pacific and the depths of the Atlantic with sound worlds as diverse as the drumming cascades of thousands of the smallest crustaceans, the haunting songs of marine mammals to the sounds of the largest and loudest animals that have ever lived on the planet, the great whales. But the increasingly prominent anthropogenic sounds also demand their space. In the new Symphony of the Sea, they form the breakpoints and disharmonies in the confrontation between sea and man.

The installation with three-dimensional spatial sound interprets the acoustic and visual characteristics of the ocean's dimensions, vastness and dynamics as seemingly infinite into real space.

In the documentary, the makers and artists explain how the sound & light installation was created, what turns the installation into a special experience and why it is so important to let us humans immerse ourselves in this wonderful sound world of the oceans.

Seaphony documentary

Making a sound & light art installation

"Seaphony is a moving experience and a powerful call to action to protect the oceans"
arte journal
"Oceans are the largest and most sound-rich habitat on the planet."
Chris Watson, Sound Artist & Composer
"The eye takes a person into the world, the ear brings the world into a human being"
Lorenz Oken, Scientist & Nature Philosopher
"I want to let nature speak for itself"
Chris Watson, Sound Artist & Composer
"..the installation is one of the very few ways that people can really engage with full 3d sound."
Tony Myatt, sound artist, engineer & academic
"How inappropriate to call this planet Earth, when clearly it is Ocean."
Arthur C. Clarke, Author
"Our knowledge of the ocean is a key element for the future of humanity."
Audrey Azouley, Generaldirektorin der UNESCO

Ocean Noise

The invisible pollution of the seas

The oceans have been noisy for millions of years, and this noise is not just a background hum. It is a polyphonic chorus, with sound signatures from almost all sea creatures. Sound dominates underwater. It is the light of the oceans, illuminating the depths for the animals. They use sound like humans use light to perceive their surroundings. Sound is vital for sea creatures.

In the darkness of the oceans, sound waves play a crucial role in the communication, navigation and orientation of marine life. Sound waves, which travel faster and further in water than in the air, help animals to find each other for mating and to find their way through the vastness of the oceans. Noise caused by humans has a profound effect on this communication process. It is clear that ship sonars and engines, deep-sea mining, military manoeuvres and munitions blasting cause what is known as noise pollution in the world's oceans. Invisible and destructive, the force of sound waves kills sea creatures directly or leads to images of dead whales washed up disorientated on coasts and beaches.

In a three-part podcast from the Guardian, Chris Watson takes us into the world of marine underwater sounds and examines the threat posed by anthropogenic noise.

Oceans of Noise

More information on noise pollution in the oceans and what to do about it can be found here:

BUND Campaign


Artists and team

For Seaphony we were able to win outstanding and award-winning artists: Chris Watson, sound artist & field recordist will compose Seaphony and stage it with Tony Myatt in a large-scale, spatially experienceable 3D Ambisonic sound installation. Light artist Theresa Baumgartner contributes a more abstract visuality that immerses us fully in this underwater world.

Idea and concept: Ina Krüger
Field Recording & Composition: Chris Watson
Additional Sound Recording & Sound Engineering: Tony Myatt
Light Artist: Theresa Baumgartner
Executive Producer: Diana Schniedermeier

Partner: Interactive Media Foundation, Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND), GEO, Deutschlandfunk and more

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