When a landscape gardener and acoustician make friends and share their penchants around a garden of senses.
Terre à sons (The Land of sounds) is a game based around senses offering up an experience of sensory variations increased tenfold. Visitors first of all find themselves in an anechoic, dark room in which sound and visual sensations are virtually non-existent. There is nothing in this shelter of dead leaves to suggest what might happen next – save but a glimpse, through an arrow slit, of a luxuriant garden with dense, overgrown vegetation. Once the senses have been pacified, we leave the room into an energetic universe bursting with colour: a soundwave-shaped garden unfolds before our eye. Circular, labyrinthine alleyways call us to wend our way along these floral waves in discovery of plants offering up a variety of textures and aromas. We then happen upon weather cocks and calabashes sprouting up from the vegetation with which we can bring the garden to life. Upon reaching the centre of the wave, we’ll make our way around a wooden structure woven like a “gridshell” on which climbing plants with exuberant flowers are growing. As we progress through this vegetation, we find huge wooden acoustic reflectors that focus and amplify the sounds emanating from the garden and, if we stand in the middle of these reflectors, we’ll find out what it’s like to have extra powerful hearing. These two amusing spaces give young and old alike the chance to build an armchair or a promontory using nestable wooden cubes. At the end of all that, as visitors leave the plot they can go back into the dark room to regenerate their senses before continuing with their visit.
NL-Paysage -Nicolas LIMOUSIN, government-qualified landscape architect- and LE PHONOGRAPHE -David PEAU, acoustics engineer-
From left to right: Nicolas Limousin and David Peau
“After obtaining a Higher Technical Certificate in Landscape Architecture at La Mouillère horticultural lycée in Orleans, I enrolled in the Bordeaux School of Architecture and Landscaping. As my studies progressed, the growing desire to set off in discovery of new horizons finally led me to spend a year at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Malmö, where I encountered a landscape and urbanity very different from what I had been accustomed to. I made good use of this Scandinavian experience in my end-of-studies personal project, which was entitled “Shared-Spaces”. In 2011, I set up the NL-PAYSAGE agency at Terrasson-Lavilledieu in Dordogne and today, thanks to close collaboration with local architects, town-planners and government officials, I am busy developing projects that make the utmost of nature, sensory perception, and their physical contexts.”
David Peau has always been passionate about nature and sound. As a child, he would spend his time hiding in the forest until the animals came to ignore his presence, so that he could listen to them live around him. At the age of 10, he discovered vocal music with the Maîtrise de Chartres, which would in turn enable him to discover the unreal acoustics of Chartres Cathedral and their infinite variations. David continued his apprenticeship to the world of sound as a teenager, playing drums, guitar and bass guitar in various bands and gaining an ever clearer idea of what he wanted to do with his future – play with sounds in one way or another! And it was via physical acoustics and the Maine University of Sciences that he was to further familiarise himself with sounds and their many variations, lost in a cloud of often somewhat disconcerting equations! After working in his chosen field for some ten years, David set up “Le Phonographe” engineering office, renewing his old ties with nature by locating it in Corrèze. It was there that he became friendly with landscape architect Nicolas LIMOUSIN. The two now share a workshop and are collaborating on this “Terre à sons” project.