Quiet is the New Loud – Brugges Trienalle, Belgium

The soundscape of Modernity, with its overwhelming array of machine generated standing waves amplified in canyons of glass and steel, has through the vicissitudes of history passed Brugge by. One can still take delight in Brugge’s human scale sound space of passageways, plazas, canals, cobblestones and courtyards without being overwhelmed by electrical hums, diesel motors, helicopters, ventilation, air conditioning and constant media sounds. Brugge has a very valuable acoustic commodity: quiet. In a time where our accelerating economy generates an inhuman barrage of conflicting and confusing sounds out of scale with human perception Brugge’s quiet provides space to think. Quiet is the New Loud.


O+A were invited by the festival curators to create a large scale sound installation for the city center of Brugges, Belgium. They decided to bring to attention the city’s remarkable quietude in this noisy world, quiet thinking space is valuable. It’s an attribute worthy of notice, celebration, and protection.

O+A and their team created floating loudspeakers to accompany festival walking through a map of “songlines”. The speakers emitted particular frequencies at GPS coordinates. These sounds were specially selected to produce an echolocation readout that highlights the pristine Medieval architectural spaces.