_liminal State


_liminal State

a sound installation exploring transitional states

The title (from the Latin limen, threshold) is a play on the transitional phase Ireland as a country was experiencing during the economic crisis started in 2008, as well as the in-between spaces its citizens were forced to travel and come to inhabit through emigration. 

This installation - created with support from a Dublin City Council Artist Award and a Centre for Creative Practice's Migrant Artists on Ireland Bursary - takes the form of an intimate audio narrative within the walls of an Irish sitting room. The objects that can be found in the space suggest the presence of someone who is about to leave, or who has just returned. 

During the course of six months, sound artist La Cosa Preziosa collected interviews with Irish citizens living abroad and composed a number of listening experiences to discover within the space, including two soundscapes triggered automatically by the listener walking in specific areas.


Jump-cut vocal edits are interwoven with Skype sounds, preserved in their glitchy, ‘distant’ quality. In another track, voices describe what they see through their own windows and doors in their respective locations abroad, to inspire in the listener a reflection on the nature of presence and absence. 


At the table is a set of headphones playing back the original poem, The Leaving (read by its author, JP O’Malley, himself an Irish citizen living in London) set to binaural field recordings of Dublin city. And, underscoring all these sonic experiences, is the persistently present field-recorded drone of the departure lounge at Dublin Airport.


All these sonic strands worked in conjunction to form a textured sonic tapestry of transition and abandonment, but also of energy and hope for the future.


Concept & sound design: La Cosa Preziosa

Interactive motion sensors: Evangelos Kapros

‘The Leaving’, written & performed by JP O’Malley

- Irish Times article on _liminal State

Audio excerpt: