Hidden Portal

Brianna Savage


Hidden Portal is an immersive sound installation that tells a story about an adventure the listener goes on to help a firefly Queen break a curse to save their light. Sounds effects and music with an immersive environment all helps bring the listener into the narration.


One might expect to hear sounds from a forest, medieval town environment, swords fighting, and some dialogue. Voices and sounds will be downloaded and recorded to try and recreate the same sounds one might hear when experiencing the event in real life within the narration. I wanted to accomplish a narration that one can visualize and leave them wanting to know more. An immersive experience that can provoke sympathetic and courageous feelings.

Statement of Purpose

With my sound installation, I want the visitor to get the impression that they are entering a completely different environment. The feelings I want the visitor to experience is a sense of wonder when first entering the box and once then get comfortable and listen to the story they can visualize the environment with extreme detail that when they walk out they forget that they were in a furniture shop. I want to show that sounds and words are a powerful tool in opening our imagination to different worlds and perspectives in life. This sound installation has the potential to promote civic engagement by presentation a different way people can open their imagination to new perspectives and to show them that listening to stories (one doesn’t always have to Just read) can show us things we might not see unless we have physically experience it.


The influence for this project came from the concept of containing the sound within a specific area with an interactive aspect incorporated. I also got inspiration from watching animated short story trailers. I used Audacity to edit my sound clips together so that they flow smoothly and coherently like a movie trailer would be.

Fit within Larger Notion of Aesthetics

This art piece promotes visualization of the imagination, by having the listener connect to this unconscious action they will be able to see the story and imagine it by listening. My piece is different than normal movie trailers because the listener is placed within a booth that involves physically interacting with the story.

Materials & Methodology

I will produce a listening experience by placing a booth in a storage room. On two sides of the booth I have a cardboard lining the outsides with styrofoam in between. Then I will cover the whole booth with a thick blank to block out even more sound. On the inside of the booth will be tree branches a sheet of astro turf and some dirt/moss to simulate a real environment. This will allow the listener to feel as though they are both physically in a different space and mentally. The physical materials were all gather and assembled by myself. There will be two computer speakers placed within the booth and the cord will be long enough so that the IPod will be reachable so that I can start the audio when the person has entered. The main reason that computer speakers will be used is that they are louder than the small Bluetooth speakers. I tried to simulate the sound effects as accurate to the real thing as possible. The audio materials I used were self-recorded when possible with a mix of creative common elements, the editing of the recordings was done within audacity and the webpage is hand coded.


My desired take away is for the listener to feel as though they are in a movie theater watching a mini trail/ episode that they are taking part of. With the sound effects being real and then incorporating dramatic music to just like they would in a movie when it is needed. This will provide the visualization for the listener while the installation/ booth will be the piece that connects the listener and brings them into the story.