Guy Cooper is something of an enigma. Not only is he a talented music producer and musician with his own production studio and record label, but he is also an award-winning sculptor of large steel works and has more recently, created his unique ‘Soundwave’ project that combines both audio and visual recordings, resulting in an immersive experience that captures the sights and sounds of some of the best Gold Coast locations.
Passionate about science and art (did I mention he also has a physics degree in Astrobiology?!), Guy’s latest ‘Soundwave’ project draws inspiration from the hidden places of beauty on the Gold Coast, and captures them in 360 virtual reality and ambisonic surround sound.
“We are blessed with some of the most amazing beaches, unique people, places and stunning rainforests on the Gold Coast, so I wanted to try and capture some of that magic,” Guy said.
“I think that honing in on some of the places we live and where we come from, as well as highlighting the sounds we unconsciously hear every day, can really trigger memories of childhood, or that feeling of home and belonging.
“Given this year has been interesting to say the least, with a lot of people not being able to get out as much as usual, I thought the immersive videos and sound recordings would be a great way for people to virtually experience, visit and meditate at some of the special Gold Coast locations we have on our doorstop,” he said.
Using a new Sennheiser ambisonic microphone and encoding technology in order to capture the full 360 sound of a space, Guy spent time recording the sights and sounds at a range of unique Gold Coast spots, such as Main Beach Spit, Currumbin Point and Numinbah Valley Lake.
“I think my two favourite places were the Burleigh rocks headland, where, with all my equipment, I climbed up on some rocks and sat for hours, fully exposed to the roaring open ocean breaking on the rocks below. And camping out in the Springbrook rainforest and listening to all the wildlife talking in the area,” he said.
“In general though, it was just really amazing to be able to spend time capturing the sounds and videos at each location. More often than not, I just set up my cutting-edge technology and spent hours sitting, listening and meditating at each location.”
Although Guy faced numerous challenges in regards to setting up the technical side of things and working out the most effective ways to capture, mix and deliver audio to create a completely immersive experience for viewers, the final product, which can also be viewed with a VR headset via your phone, was well worth the effort and one that Guy thoroughly enjoyed along the way.
“I often get a little carried away with learning new skills and finding better ways to connect with our living environment. I’d say my Soundwave project is just another way of combining my passion for science and art, acoustics and nature.
“I love this place we are lucky enough to call home and hope these immersive experiences allow people to enjoy some of the locations that are special to me as well,” he said.
All of Guy’s Soundwave experiences can be viewed for free at goldcoastsoundwave.com. They have been loaded into Youtube 360 videos, so by using a smartphone, or desktop mouse, viewers can experience a full 360 experience via VR goggles, such as Oculus, Gear VR or Google cardboard viewer.