Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Exploring earthly sounds for nine candles

This site specific sound installation evokes the majestic cathedral located next to the Vishal Art Foundation in Haarlem's old city centre. The installation pays tribute to the cathedral's Müller organ by using the same materials and religious artefacts as in the church but in a completely other order and meaning. 
Here a meditative atmosphere is created trough a very slow and constant changing bass sound coming from this installation. By doing so, it reflects on the slowness, of change and decay of religion in the rapid modern world of today. But more so it appeals to our humanity, to the fragility of life and to the often imperceptible but progressive decay of mind and body.

The candles are in fact the musicians and their diversity in size slowly yet irregular transform the pitched sound of each organ pipe. In this way the overall sound is constantly changing which causes a rich diversity in low and soft sounding pulsating bass rhythms!

As an artist working with sound I was curious about pitching up ultra low bass pipe sounds in order to create a constant changing drone sound. To give an idea on the sound pitching speed, the smallest candles need to be changed every six ours while the thickest candles run more then five days. 
In other words, this installation requires daily care and attention.
The burning candles get shorter and cause a vertical movement in each mechanism. Because the candles' fat is burning away at the top, a special little shaft around the candles is drawn downwards thus, by way of a spring system which pushes the candle upward while it gets shorter, it pulls a wheel connected to a brass valve, opening it up on the front end of each organ pipe at the same speed to which the candles burn. In this way, the air column of each organ pipe gets shorter and pitches up their tone. The air pump is built in a rubber skin-covered box to kill the noise and blows up when the pump is starting to work. 

total size: 900 x 280 x 120 cm (lxwxh)
materials: brass, rubber, plywood, air pump, metal, candles, bass organ pipes
year: december 2016

here's a video for the sound (put up your volume or better, use a ear phone)

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