NATICK, MA, December 18, 2023 — Seoul-born but now Bondi-based artist Vicki Lee recently opened her new gallery space in the neon-lit landscape of Potts Point, Australia. A love letter to Sydney, the gallery celebrated its launch with Lee’s new exhibition The Sound of Yellow. Playing with solfeggio frequencies – which have been proven to reduce stress, improve sleep and increase creativity – Genelec helped plug guests into the introspective exhibition.
The project began with Genelec’s Australian distribution partner Studio Connections, who were introduced to Lee through a mutual friend. Always advocating for the sonic power of Genelec, Studio Connections knew straight away that the brand would be an excellent choice for Lee’s immersive project. “It was a challenging concept which pushed us out of our comfort zone, but as we were relying on a Genelec system, we knew that the result would be really powerful and moving,” explains Deb Sloss, Managing Director at Studio Connections.
The Sound of Yellow encouraged visitors to play with their perception of three of the five senses. Lee describes painting as a “transcendent experience,” where colors have different sounds and scents, specifically yellow which she hears the loudest. “It’s forceful. It represents the beginning of each day, a sense of hope, and also the end of each day and a sense of rest,” she says. “It’s happy and melancholic at the same time.”
The Sound of Yellow incorporated the visual, illuminating effect of yellow through paint, plaster, porcelain and natural resin. A custom scent was also designed in collaboration with Clayton Ilolahia, which was infused with notes of citron zest, pink pepper, saffron, ambergris and golden syrup. Additionally, Lee created a bespoke tea to punctuate the scene with a warming, peaceful moment of repose.
For the sound element of the exhibition, guests arrived in groups of six and were invited to “shed their persona” by uncloaking and dressing in a custom designed white robe. From there, they entered a structure that was built to infuse solfeggio frequencies through the body via four white Genelec 8361 coaxial loudspeakers and four Genelec W371 woofer systems from the famed “The Ones” series, complemented by a 7382 subwoofer.
The 8361 three-way studio loudspeaker is the flagship model of The Ones series and offers advanced acoustical performance and an extremely wide dynamic range. The ideal solution for small to medium-sized rooms, the 8361 adapts to a space – producing pristine, uncolored performance from stereo through to complex immersive formats.
The W371 adaptive woofer system works with the 8361 to produce a full-range loudspeaker system with a smooth in-room response and ultra-coherent low-frequency imaging. Completing the system is the 7382 subwoofer, Genelec’s most powerful subwoofer to date.
The sound installation was housed in two open rooms, each approximately seven square meters with very high ceilings. Two loudspeaker “stacks” were positioned up against an exposed concrete wall, while the other two stood freely.
Genelec’s GLM software dealt with the frequency imbalance between these two sets of speakers, created by their positioning in the room. The software works to analyze and minimize the effect of unwanted acoustic influences in a space, giving users total control of the reproduced sound.
“The room was essentially a large echo chamber, and the only concession to the reverberation was a selection of artworks hanging on the walls,” continues Sloss. “In the middle of the room was a large wooden plinth that hid the 7382 subwoofer. The idea was that gallery visitors would lie down on the plinth and feel the vibrations.”
The system played healing solfeggio frequencies to guests, which date back as far as the 8th century. A series of nine frequencies between 174 and 963 Hz, they’re rooted in ancient traditions such as Gregorian and Sanskrit chants and it’s believed that the vibrational frequencies have a positive impact on mental wellbeing and can also relieve physical pain.
Lee wanted her guests to feel the bass as they lay on the plinth listening to the healing frequencies, so the volume balance was tweaked by reducing the level of each of the four speaker stacks by 4 dB – thereby raising the relative subwoofer volume.
“I wanted to share my experience and what it feels like when I paint with yellow. The Genelec speakers and the subwoofer that were built into the structure are rich in texture, they are tuned to perfection. My desire was to use the insanely good sound to connect with people, and without Genelec that wouldn’t have been possible.”
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