De ijstijd

Ice cold soundscape for a 4 speaker surround setup.

Client: Naturalis
Services: sound design

About the installation

De ijstijd (dutch for Ice Age) is one of the impressive museum galleries that display the beauty and richness of nature.

A scale model that fills almost the entire gallery, surrounded by hundreds of Ice Age fossils that inspired the recreation of a barren, cold plain from 30,000 years ago. In an adjacent room, pieces from the Naturalis collection invite you to explore early life. Binoculars make it possible to stalk the prehistoric animals that populate the scale model – almost as if you’re on a safari.

Our four speaker surround soundscape functions as a backdrop for the ice age experience. Sounds of wind, water, birds and herds of galloping animals make this scale model of the dutch landscape come to live.

About the process

Naturalis had a maximum of four speakers for this setup. In order to get the best result we advised to install the speakers in the corners just above the average human height. The soundscape consists of original field recordings recorded in Sri Lanka,  birds and stock material. Synthesisers were used to create the illusion of wind blowing.

To create natural movements of the sounds, we developed an app controller to do the right panning between the four speakers.

About Naturalis

Naturalis is the national research institute for biodiversity.

Naturalis’ new museum is a combined experience of seeing and doing. All ages will experience the beauty and richness of nature in impressive galleries. In the new galleries you will learn everything about the earliest life on Earth, about The Netherlands in the Ice Age and about the immense forces of our planet.

Naturalis website