MUSEO PAPALOTE DEL NIÑO
MEXICO CITY, D.F.




The "Tropical Rainforest Exhibit" at the Museo Papalote del Niño is a 50' tall model of a ficus tree populated with tropical birds, mammals and insects - all beautifully executed by WGA's Academy Studios. Our work involved creating the bio-acoustic environment for the exhibit, condensing 24 hours of rainforest sounds and 26 species of animal calls into an hour long audio presentation. The sound production was built over a montage of environmental sounds recorded in the canopy and forest floor levels of the Costa Rican rainforests. The program included a rain burst and thunder storm with all of the appropriate temporal and weather responses of the animals from the rain forest.

The rain forest acoustical environment was reproduced through concealed high fidelity, omnidirectional speakers. The species sounds were reproduced through concealed miniature speakers, all carefully selected to reproduce the specific sound of each creature. We knew we had a winner the moment we started the program. During the construction of the exhibit, museum site workers would often look up into the tree as they passed the exhibit - taking note of the details, marveling at the elaborate rigging required to erect the tree. But from the very moment we started our audio presentation, the workers would just stand and stare up into the tree, for minutes at a time - as if waiting for the models to move; for a macaw to take flight or a howler monkey to swing down into the lower branches. This clearly illustrates the power sound has in animating our imaginations, bringing us into our environments.