Underwater Ambisonic Recording
December 10 – December 23, 2013

Photo by Pascal Wyse.

An expedition to Panama’s Pearl Islands, a group of over 200 islands and islets (many tiny and uninhabited) lying about 30 miles (48 km) off the Pacific coast of Panama in the Gulf of Panama. A second area of interest was the Gulf of Chiriqui that encompasses the Coiba National Park and the Golfo de Chiriquí National Park.

The main purpose of this expedition was to capture state-of-the-art sound recordings as well as ambisonic recordingsof coral reefs and their species. The main outcome of the research will be a large-scale sound installation: A Coral Pavilion. Pavane for an Extinct Civilisation – A collaborative work by the renowned architect and designer Neri Oxman (MIT), sound artist Jana Winderen and sound expert Tony Myatt that will celebrate the sounds of the seas and reefs while at the same time highlighting conservation issues. 
Neri Oxman and her team of researchers – supported by James Weaver, Research Associate in Biologically Inspired Engineering at the Wyss Institute, Harvard – will conducted research for the design structure of the Coral Pavilion. The focus of sound artist Jana Winderen was on varied reefs with deep banks and shallow pools as well as areas of bleaching in order to capture a large variety of sounds. All successful recordings will also be made available for educational and scientific use. The journalist and sound recordist Pascal Wyse will test the ambisonic hydrophone, an underwater surround recording system, developed by Tony Myatt and his team from Surrey University. Carmen Stephan and Jonas Unger were also onboard documenting the work for a feature article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin.