Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Silvas Capitalis

Photo by Neil Clasper
Photo by Neil ClasperSimparch situated an iconic head, on the grounds of the Kielder forest, located near the Scottish border. Large enough to enter into with stairs to a 2nd floor, this large anthropomorphic offering was inspired by the Celtic gods of Britain whom are frequently anonymous and depicted merely by the head alone.

In the relatively new and cultivated monoculture of Kielder's "working" forest, a giant head sits knowingly watching and listening to the nuances of daily forest life - the creatures, the wind, and the roar of harvesting equipment.

>> Simparch website

This is situated near my home in Scotland. I haven't had a chance to visit it yet but will go next time I am at home & will observe how sound functions in this sculpture. I like the idea of the enlarged ear trumpets inside the head (as suggested in the illustration) where you could sit and experience the sound scape of the forest from a different perspective.

I want to do some kind of sound intervention...

Nigel Helyer

" My approach to the sonic domain has always been informed by a Sculptor’s perspective which emphasises the experiential nature of sounds, linking them to the dynamic, material events that produce them and situating them within the environments that contain and propagate them." -


The audio component of this project employs simple and robust solid-state digital audio and solar power to deliver a satisfying complex soundscape, the works embraces the concept of an ‘ensemble’ of multiple forms with minor variations that allows great flexibility in composing elements of the work and helps to develop a sense of continuity inflected with subtle difference. The units are can be programmed as desired ~ and will broadcast human voice with fragments of poetry.
Lotus contains ten Haiku, one line of each poem being stored in each upright audio unit. As each unit operates with an individual solar timer/charger the lines are recited at random moments delivering an ever changing random mix ~ in effect comining the ten Haiku into a new ‘Mega-Haiku’. -

Kinetic Tape Sculpture

Monday, 26 July 2010

The Elephant Bed

The Elephant Bed by John Grade


"Quintetto" is an installation based on the study of casual movement of objects or living creatures used as input for the production of sounds. The basic concept is to reveal what we call "invisible concerts" of everyday life.
The vertical movements of the 5 fishes in the acquariums is captured by a videocamera, that translates (through a computer software) their movements in digital sound signals.
We'll have 5 different musical instruments creating a totally unexpected live concert.


Friday, 23 July 2010

Sun Boxes

Sun Boxes are an environment to enter and exit at will. It's comprised of twenty speakers operating independently, each powered by the sun via solar panels. There is a different loop set to play a guitar note in each box continuously. These guitar notes collectively make a Bb chord. Because the loops are different in length, once the piece begins they continually overlap and the piece slowly evolves over time.

The sounds of Sun Boxes have been described as both soothing and energizing. A unique combination of adjectives often used to describe yoga, or meditation. When experiencing the piece, Sun Boxes allows the participant to slow down, and notice the subtleties of the composition unfold. With the abundance of technology and hustle of this culture it is a much needed concept to not only be allowed, but also encouraged to slow down.

>> Sun-boxes website

>> Craig Colorusso's blog


The suikinkutsu, literally meaning ‘water harp chamber,’ is an underground Japanese water instrument which is usually located in temple gardens and places of ceremony. The water chime consists of an upside down pot with a small hole through it’s bottom. The upside down pot is buried underground, with a porous rock layer above and an impermeable layer below.

Water slowly seeps through the rock bed above, drips through the hole in the pot, and splashes in a shallow pool of water inside of the pot’s chamber. The dripping water creates a pleasant ringing sound, a sound who’s quality can be manipulated by the height of the water pool and the size and shape of the pot.

This magical instrument is an important object in Japanese culture. A suikinkutsu is often located below a hand washing basin – when the hands are washed, for a Japanese tea ceremony for example, the water chime is activated, creating an appropriately serene and relaxed mood for the ceremony.
>> Suikinkutsu Wikipedia page
>> Score for a Hole in the Ground - suikinkutsu inspired (and using no mics or speakers!) sound installation by Jem Finer

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Ideas & Aims

A few of the ideas I have had recently that I want to research further and try to put into practice.


a) A sound art sculpture/installation that does not use microphones or speakers (technologies that are so integral to sound production in our modern lives). I want to use natural forces and materials to produce something that will be interesting & affecting audibly. Location will be key. What sources of energy can I use? Water, wind...

to be updated...