Gain Stage is a kinetic sound installation that sounds out and shapes acoustic space in relation to a series of physical and mechanical tableaus. Each tableau focuses on a single device or object which involves a process of mechanical amplification or motion. The movements in each tableau are amplified so that their sounds are heard in varying combinations from speakers spread throughout the space. The sounds are processed to produce an elliptical relationship between the tableau and the sound of the movements it shows: they are filtered or delayed, and often heard at a distance. This processing changes over time, so as each tableau unfolds the sounds associated with it move in and out of acoustic focus. The title comes from the technical term for electronic signal amplification. Here it refers both to the forms of mechanical amplification on display and it describes the situation of the piece itself as a platform for multiple experiences of gain staging.


Production of the Gain Stage was supported by Brown University and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.