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Sound Designs for Floating Hotels at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games

Go to Gallery Page Sound Designs for Floating Hotels at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games
Related EntriesAudio Visual Gallery
Outdoor Installation and Temporary Installation
Location: Sydney Harbour (Garden Island, Darling Harbour, and White Bay), NSW, Australia
Six installations located at Garden Island, Darling Harbour, and White Bay. Commissioned by 'Tim Williams Architects' and 'Sydney Ports'


I was asked to create sound installations within bus shelters provided for guests of the 'Floating Hotels' around Sydney Harbour. The bus shelters ran alongside the Floating Hotels and were used by guests in transit to and from the Games. They ranged in length up to a maximum of 80 metres.

Within the shelters I attached speakers to deliver a spatially distributed composition. The speakers were set 3 metres apart, at ceiling height along both sides of the shelters.

The ninety-minute, multichannel soundscape was composed of sounds from around Sydney Harbour. Eight mono channels of sound were distributed sequentially, in a repeating pattern along the full length of the shelters.

The sound included on this website is a short stereo approximation of the original multichannel piece.


In keeping with the festive spirit of Williams' designs for the embarkation areas, I aimed to design sonic experiences which were lively and engaging, and created a sense of place.

As the user group was made up of visitors from diverse countries and disparate walks of life, the soundscape needed to have broad appeal. I used a playful approach, aiming to create a kind of pleasure which crosses borders.

Given the spatial layout and function of the shelters, and considerations regarding crowd control, I used a strategy of 'moving' sound up and down the length of the shelters. For example, a ship's horn might start at one end and echo down the length. The sound drew people to the shelters and subtly provided momentum within.


The Floating Hotels included:

Nieuw Amsterdam at Garden Island South
Deutschland at Garden Island North
Seven Seas Navigator, Clipper Odyssey, Norwegian Star, and Seabourne Sun, at Darling Harbour No's 3, 5, 7, and 8
Fair Princess at White Bay, No.3.


Composition, Installation Design, Recording: Sherre DeLys
Production Sound Engineering: John Jacobs
Keyboards: Chris Abrahams

Seagull and Frog Imitations: Janet Shaw (Australian Bird Calling Champion) and Dion Hobcraft (Taronga Zoo Frogkeeper)!!!

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Prepared by: Iain Mott
Created: 30 August 2002
Modified: 7 October 2002

Published by The University of Melbourne
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: i.mott@unimelb.edu.au
Prepared by: Acknowledgements
Updated: 18 January 2007

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