Yuri Suzuki’s Furniture Music

Transforming domestic noise pollution into relaxing soundscapes.

Created by London-based sound artist and designer Yuri Suzuki, the Furniture Music exhibition aims to redesign the soundscapes of contemporary living spaces. The goal? To reduce noise pollution and enhance the feeling of well-being in homes. The show’s name references the words of renowned composer Erik Satie, who described his own music as “a sound that should not be actively listened to, but present at the periphery of our daily lives.”

Yuri Suzuki’s designs explore the concept of everyday soundscapes and the way they impact one’s mental state. “When you do your laundry, why must you listen to a dreadful pounding noise that may distract you from your tasks or simply take you away from the present?” says Suzuki. “Could a washing machine make a beautiful ambient sound instead? Our lives may be made easier with technology taking care of most of our chores, but perhaps, with a little imagination, we could redefine how sound impacts on our mental well-being,” he adds.

In Furniture Music, the daily noise pollution transforms into serene as well as calming sounds. The complex installation Sound of the Waves (2018) takes inspiration from the relaxing sounds of the ocean. The artwork features twelve rotating cylinders that contain small pebbles. Choreographed through real-time tidal data coming from twelve beaches, the cylinders rotate to create the sounds of the waves. “It’s like a musical instrument played by the sea,” adds the artist. Other works provide solutions for various areas of a domestic interior, from kitchens to living rooms. These include Singing Washing Machine (2018), created by Suzuki in a collaboration with composer Matthew Herbert, as well as Musical Kettle (2017). The Furniture Music exhibition opened on 22 February at the Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University in London. It runs until 21 April, 2018. Photographs© Yuri Suzuki.

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