Seismic Mics Buried Under This House Turn Tremors Into Beautiful Music

By Gizmodo on at

Artist Doug Aitken's new house is designed to bring the outside world in, with accents like plant prints on the walls, and extensive use of greenery throughout. But the eyes aren't the only thing his home appeals to.

Buried in its concrete foundation are nine geological microphones sensitive enough to pick up and amplify the sounds of the tectonic plates shifting and grinding beneath the state of California. Providing a constant soundtrack of subtle clicks and drones throughout the house, accentuated with the sounds of nearby traffic, and even the tides rolling in and out. Imagine the symphony that must occur whenever an earthquake strikes.

And to let guests participate in creating the home's unique soundtrack, Aitken also installed microphones under the house's staircase. So as someone climbs the steps, it's like playing a large ascending xylophone. It all sounds quite whimsical, and a clever way to tie the home back to the Earth. That is, until you try and get a good night's sleep. After a few nights we suspect the novelty would wear off. [NY Times via PSFK]

Image by Jason Schmidt