The sounding sculptures will create both the inner walls of the spirals and act as centerpieces. Many will be amplified and the large, center sculptures will be processed into a rhythmic texture via a custom audio system. All will contribute to the evolving soundsceape of the piece, whether struck, plucked, scraped, bowed, rustled or even simply touched. They are objects with which to play, make sound, communicate, express, emote and explore.
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These are excerpts from an earlier piece for sounding sculpture by Lisa R. Coons. While the installation at Burning Man will have varied metal sounding sculptures as part of the structure and centerpieces, this short video will give insights into the sonic palette available with the instruments of the EMR space.
These are sketches for the inner sculptures of the structure. Each is both visually distinct and has a different range of sounding tones and timbres. All will be amplified and mixed through electronic processing to create a single, evolving texture.
A massive "harp" built of metal pipe and resonating strings (and fitted with tuning machines). Participants can strike, pluck, or bow the strings from the outside, or stand in the middle of the instrument and be surrounded by both the acoustic and amplified sounds of the strings.
Twisted pipes make up the largest part of this instrument--with ends that flare out into blossoms and horns. The
pipe connects the horns and blossoms, so when a participant whispers or sings into one end, the sound is distorted and carried to a listener at a different position near the sculpture. The blossoms are built by cutting the ends of the pipe and bending them back in tines to make small "finger pianos" that can be plucked for specific pitches. They are also fitted with short pieces of spring steel that will resonate when touched or plucked. "Weeds" surround the main plants--they are comprised of warped and welded cold finish steel rod. All will be amplified through contact microphones placed on the base plate. The finished sculpture will measure approximately 5' by 4' (at the widest points) with a 3' circular base.
Because of the contact microphones, the instrument will be capable of making both short, percussive sounds and long, moaning hums when rubbed or bowed.
The Liminal State
This sculpture is designed around three sound elements. The primary component will be comprised of 50-100 percussion plates. The plates will be made from new steel, brass, and scavenged metal. They will be tear drop shaped and cut to make a sounding tongs similar to those in a tongue drums or hang drums. These will be welded together to create a resonating chamber in the form a spiraling conical that overtakes itself. This will be suspended from a chain and free to rotate inside a frame of steel pipe. This outer frame will also support the second two sound elements. There will be approximately 8-12 singing bowls set onto the outside. Also, each of the cage's 4 sides will have a strip of plate bent into a curve that supports an array of steel resonating rods. These rods oscillate in a flowing wave and chime when brushed. The combination of the hanging percussion shape and the flexible resonating rods should create a dynamic visible aspect and the support cage will obscure access to the inner percussion component. The piece will be approximately 4 ft x 4 ft by 5 ft. It is meant to represent a self-creating entity immersed and constrained in subjective experience that is influenced by outer forces. The sound palette will hopefully allow for both lively rhythms as well as meditative textures.