Quarry Sounds

Interactive Site Specific Immersive Sound Installation


Quarry Sounds is an interactive site specific sound work created for and located in the Cascade Dell within the Quarry Gardens, Whangarei. It is a part of a larger group of installations that supported the 12 November 2018 Art + Climate Innovation Event.

Cascade Dell is the home of an organic sculptural work by Chris Booth and Rata Kapa and a beautiful cascading waterfall that gives the dell its name. The work is designed to support the space and amplify its special spirit while also complementing the sounds that exist there already.

Some of the sounds included in this work were sourced from a previous installation involving children from Sistema an orchestral NGO. The work brought their voices into a new space to support a kaupapa involving youth and the environment.

In addition, new site specific sounds were recorded, created and mixed by Kelly Kahukiwa (a well-regarded Northland artist) and Kim Newall (AwhiWorld). Kelly’s taonga puoro (treasured Maori music/sounds made from hand carved instruments) and whakairo (carvings) sat comfortably in the strange stillness of the glen and came to life in remarkable ways as it became dark.

We used audio exciters to resonate sound out of the wood from the carvings, rather than traditional speakers. This meant that the babbling brook was still heard and our work merged thoughtfully with the environment, rather than overpowering it.

As night fell a ruru (Morepork/owl) joined the music, creating an eerie otherworldly atmosphere in the darkness of the bush.

All the contributing sounds were curated to celebrate the spirit of collaboration that created the Quarry Gardens out of bare stone, the creative spirit of youth and the spirit of the land. AwhiWorld believe these aspects, when combined, will help us mitigate climate change. For video of the sounds on the night please see the AwhiWorld FB Page

Our logistics partner Bell Tech provided lighting and general support for the larger event. The event was locally hosted between Creative Northland and Reconnecting Northland.