Resonance Reappearing

Resonance Reappearing is a motion-activated sound installation. Using Max/MSP software, a continuously changing score is created that draws from a library of prerecorded sounds. These sounds are transmitted through a network of motors and wires creating a vibrating, kinetic audio system that gives physical form to sound.

Four long piano wires are suspended in the gallery, with groups of electric motors hanging on each wire. The motors are attached to the speaker outputs of audio amplifiers, which have audio soundfiles (recorded from a Buchla 200 synthesizer) playing through them, that are then amplified through the motors and into the wires. Each wire has a contact pickup attached at each end, and these contact pickups send amplified signals into a wireless audio headphone system in the gallery (viewers listen to the installation using wireless headphones and can walk through the installation while listening to it). At the same time, there are motors attached at the end of the piano wires, that cause the wires to flex with off-center motor movements. A motion sensor triggers the audio system to fade in and fade out, resulting in a continuously changing flexible sound system.

The piece attempts to visualize the invisibility of sound, by deconstructing the audio system into a vibrating network of motors and wires that are set in motion by the sounds transmitted through them, thus creating a kinetic audio system that is activated by the sound waves travelling through and emanating away from themselves.

First Exhibition: Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Kingston, Ontario, 2018

Photos by Matt Rogalsky