Sounded Bodies takes the music of movement to the King's Museum at University of Aberdeen

By Culture24 Staff | 03 June 2011
A photo of three female students labelling exhibition artefacts on a table
Exhibition: Sounded Bodies, King’s Museum, University of Aberdeen, June 7 – August 13 2011

The acoustics of the anatomy is the theme for the first student-produced exhibition at King’s, the museum opened by the University of Aberdeen in April.

“We have been thinking about bodies being places where sound is not only heard, but also produced when our heart beats, our veins pulse, our lungs resonate and our feet tap,” explains Sarah Ainslie, who has overseen this collaboration between the institution’s departments of Anthropology, Film and Visual Culture and History of Art.

“This was a great opportunity to combine academic and practical skills in one course, and to work with a range of people from across the University.”

Drawing on an extensive pooled collection, the display features musical instruments, ethnographic goodies, scientific implements and models, allowing visitors to see objects which are usually the preserve of researchers.

An enormous model ear used for teaching and a percussion pistol fired to ward off evil spirits at wedding ceremonies in Aberdeenshire in the 18th and 19th centuries are among the highlights.

You can also grab a stethoscope to listen to the sounds of your own humble body, monitor the noises you make through an interactive spectrogram and listen to a specially-commissioned sound installation by Professor Pete Stollery, who’s a renowned electro-acoustic composer away from his day job.

“I have been very impressed by the way that the students have brought together some intriguing ideas with objects from the collections,” says Neil Curtis, the university’s Head of Museums.

“They have discovered how the process of putting together an exhibition is very challenging, but have managed to present an excellent exhibition that is well worth visiting.”

  • Open 9.30am-4.30pm (7.30pm Tuesday, 11am-4pm Saturday, closed Sunday.) Admission free.
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