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The Deering Estate Features Ghostly Sound Installation As Part Of Their Spring Art Exhibit

Photo of the Deering Estate
Photograph by Armando Rodriguez
The Deering Estate

The Deering Estate offers ghost tours where guests can bring their own recording equipment in hopes of picking up something otherworldly. A new installation at the museum features sounds recorded at the estate that might not be made by ghosts but they are typically undetectable by the human ear.

"Paranormal" is a sound installation created by experimental sound group Frozen Music. Their goal is to challenge people's understanding of the sounds they interact with everyday, most notably the sounds they're unaware of.

Gustavo Matamoros is a Venezuelan sound artist that worked on "Paranormal."

"The sounds that you hear from there are not necessarily real-time sounds," Matamoros said. "They were captured at frequencies above 20,000 hertz and brought back down. The sounds may sound ethereal because they've been slowed down."

To achieve this ghostly effect, Matamoros and his group placed ultrasonic microphones on the second floor of the Richmond Cottage at the the estate to record these inaudible frequencies. They then used software to transpose them to a level where people can hear them.

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Matamoros says his understanding of the paranormal is something you can't normally perceive. Sounds that are too high or too fast to hear.

"Paranormal" was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Stone House on the estate. It's a structure built in 1922 by philanthropist Charles Deering and his team of architects. Completion of the Stone House only took one year and still stands at the Deering Estate — now a museum in Palmetto Bay.

Melissa Diaz is the cultural arts curator at the Deering Estate and created the theme for this year's exhibit — Homemaking.

"Ideas and concepts of how a structure becomes labeled a home, filled with all of the emotions and kind of memories that are tied into that concept of home in our minds. I thought it would be a great theme to invite artists to think about that in different ways,” Diaz said.

For Diaz, the "Paranormal" sound installation personifies the essence, or spirit, of the house.

Matamoros shares that sentiment.

"The implication is that home is the use of a dwelling rather than simply the architecture of it," he said. "So from that perspective, perhaps, the sounds that we hear that are produced by the house, are in some ways representative of what happens in the home. “

The Homemaking exhibit will run at the Deering Estate until June 13. The full exhibition includes various artists' takes on what makes a house a home.

Julian Quintana is a spring 2020 graduate of Florida International University, where he earned a degree in journalism. Following graduation he continued telling stories through FIU’s media hub, The South Florida Media Network.
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