Lambda Drive

Laura Irving
Dec 3, 2019 · 4 min read
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Lambda Drive is a touch sensitive immersive audio-visual experience; a road trip for the mind. Commissioned by Flatpack Festival and BEAF Festival 2019, support from Arts Council England & The Jerwood Foundation

Its night and you’ve been driving a long time. Heavy eyes, lights and white lines of the motorway- your mind starts its own journey- snippets of conversations, ghosts of memories, phase in and out, like analogue radio stations.

Lambada Drive is a mix of personally recorded and found audio letters, alongside content from internet archivists, all jumbled into a radio station of the mind. The voices in this piece hope to transport the listener to places and time that they may have never known, nor have travelled to, but can see vividly in their mind’s eye.

Staged in a custom-built space reminiscent of a vintage car interior, Lambda Drive is a solo experience that uses Pepper’s Ghost technique to create layers of holographic visuals which appear through the windscreen. The audio is delivered via headphones.

The installation is responsive to touch; the audience turns the dial of an old car radio to tune in to a variety of voices and narratives, collaged together from amateur reel to reel tape diaries, home-made mix tape cassettes and shortwave radio archives from 50’s-‘70’s. There’s a few of my own field recordings and snippets of interview tape in there too.

The steering wheel is also responsive to touch, and the audience can influence the mixing of visuals by the strength of their touch on the wheel.

Credit/Tasks: Producer/Artist: Audio & Video editing, build management, funding bid writing

Visit Flatpack Festival Page

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Listen/Watch:

Lambda Drive- Mini Doc about the making

Lambda Drive Sampler Videos:

It’s hard to document and recreate the installation, but here’s a sample of one of the ‘radio stations’ that could be tuned into.

It features reel to reel archive tape recorded by a military doctor during the Korean War, and the philosophical musings of a man that appeared on my doorstep one day.

Here, the visuals are shown consistently overlay-ed, but in the installation, the strength and quality of the visual mix would vary depending on the audience touch of the steering wheel.

The audio and visuals also responded with static as participants adjusted the tuner of the analogue in-car radio. The idea being the audience tunes through the band to experience a range of voices.

Using the same techniques as above, this is a sampler from another channel/radio station

About:

Lambda Drive was commissioned by Flatpack Festival, and was supported by the Waveform Artist Development Programme and Jerwood Arts.

It was also commissioned by, and exhibited at, BEAF (Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe Festival), and received development funding from Arts Council England.

An audio version of the project was aired on the Scottish pop-up radio arts station, Radiophrenia.

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