Michael Lessing's Sound Art

An Introduction to my Sound Installation.

Final Project here


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Artist Statement


The installation mainly consists of one speaker inside a bowl of nachos, playing a compiled file of background noise from the WSU cafeteria. The idea behind this is to create a virtual workspace through the use of background noise, as that has been a good form of concentration for myself.


This was largely inspired by my time spent at the WSU cafeteria for doing schoolwork, as well as soundscapes of events like rainstorms and beaches that are available on YouTube.


While I can not expect everyone to feel the same way, my hope is that at least some people listen to this and feel relaxed or concentrated on a particular task.

Statement of Purpose

I wanted to be able to replicate a relaxing or concentration-helping soundscape similar to the ones available online.


This project was influenced by rain soundscapes available on YouTube, as well as a mobile phone app and website called A Soft Murmur, which lets users customize a variety of different sounds to let them create their own unique soundscape.

Fit Within Larger Notion of Aesthetics

The previous works that influenced this one largely consisted of 10 minute to 1 hour long audio loops of certain around-based events, such as the sounds of a rain or thunderstorm, the sounds of forest life, or even the sounds of a busy café. My installation works in a similar way, using a 15-30 minute loop of the sounds of the cafeteria during its busier hours of the day, with the intention of giving students an audible sound that gives them non-distracting noise to listen to when focusing on a task.

Materials & Methodology

The process behind this project involved using a recording app on my phone to record two hours worth of noise from the WSU cafeteria, and then importing them to my PC to compile them into a soundscape using Audacity, then playing that audio using a small speaker inside a bowl of nachos.


My original hope for this project was to create a soundscape based on a broader spectrum, such as sounds from across Washington, or sounds across the WSU campus. However, that proved to be too large for me to able to achieve with what materials I had compared to what I needed. Instead, I decided to be more specific and pick a location I like to visit for doing work, which is the WSU cafeteria.

Self Reflection

The intent of this installation is to provide a non-distracting background sound for students to listen to when performing a task, as the noise can provide a form of comfort to the mind, knowing that there are events occurring around the student through the form of sounds that simulate everyday life.