Response Time

8-channel sound installation
Metro Hall Square, Toronto, 2002
Kitchener City Hall, Open Ears Festival 2005


John Wynne

Metro Hall Square showing the positions of the 8 speakers

"Wynne's octaphonic installation dared the public to hear what they actually hear all the time - auditory warnings. An ambient, ghost-like presence. It's good high art, and good art enlightens."


Surrounded by Sound

Musicworks Magazine


Response Time makes use of a set of auditory warnings of my own design to explore that dividing line between ignoring something because we hear it all the time and listening because it signifies something directly applicable to ourselves.  It also brings out the abstract beauty and musical qualities of these sounds, attributes usually obscured by their potentially high annoyance factor.

Like my other work with alarm sounds, this piece was site-specific:  it was created specifically for Metro Hall Square and worked with, rather than against, the ambient sound environment and social rhythms of the space.

The aim of the piece was to promote a long-term qualitative change in the way people experience the urban sound environment and an increased awareness of the value of “silence”.