Sarah Peebles and Robert Cruickshank
MUSIC FOR INCANDESCENT EVENTS; SUNSET
Installation for light sensors and audio
gathering at WADE, Gibraltar Point, Toronto Islands 2004
Photo by Dug Claxton
Duration: roughly 25 minutes per sunset; adjustable
Technical requirements list
Two audio versions of the piece - 12 minutes and 22 minutes - are online at Sonus.ca, catalogued under "Peebles". Watch the sunset or sunrise and listen while online. Previewing audio while watching a sunset/sunrise is essential. Demos also available on CD (The 12-min audio version was created for and is published on "Somethings #1", a compilation available from lastvisibledog.com).
Short Video Demo
Music for Incandescent Events creates a space for contemplation, awareness on the many elements of one’s environment, and exploration of consciousness in the moment via audio which meditates our perception of time, memory and place.
Two or more loudspeakers are arranged in an outdoor location selected for its view of the sky at sunset. The sky’s changing light at dusk is measured by sensors which trigger stored fragments of sound derived from the tones of the shô (Japanese mouth-organ). At the moment of the sun’s setting, rich organ-like tones emanate from the loudspeakers and shift slowly—mid, high and low frequencies intermingle and create unpredictable sum and difference tones and interference patterns, their intensity swelling and falling in broad sweeps—allowing for a contemplative, immersive viewing of the changing colours of the sky and of the surrounding landscape and soundscape.
The installation assembles a unique audio composition with each sunset: the sensors and microcontrollers measure the changes in light level, colour and cloud cover as the sun sets, and convert this information into controller data. The pre-recorded audio is derived from several improvised short melodies and tones played on a slightly de-tuned shô, re-recorded several octaves lower than its original source, and stored as multiple files within two MP3 players. The MP3 players reside in a small weather-proof box, along with the sensors and micro-controllers. Optionally, the MP3 players and micro-controllers may reside in a container indoors and the light sensors placed in a removed location. Power to the MP3 players, sensors and micro-controllers is supplied via either battery or an external solar panel.
The audio source material — which was recorded at very close range in stereo with the player (Peebles) sitting near a reflective wall—produced sound which, when re-recorded at slower playback speeds results in rich beat patterns, sum/difference tones, and additional frequencies that would be beyond the range of human hearing when played at normal pitch.
Note: this piece is best experienced in an outdoor or indoor place which has a good view of the sky (changing colours on clouds at sunset), not necessarily west-facing. and minimum close-by car or industrial noise etc. Absolute quiet is not necessary. A place to sit optional.
Music for Incandescent Events premiered as a part of WADE, June 25 – 27, 2004 Gibraltar Point, Toronto Islands (www.teamproject.ca/wade/) and showed at DeLeon White Gallery rooftop deck as a part of the McLuhan International Festival of the Future, “Scanning Nature” exhibition October 9-17, 2004 (www.mcluhanfestival.com). Version no. 1 (2004) commissioned by wade Collective for wade project, June 2004, Toronto, Canada, with event funding and support from The Ontario Trillium Foundation, The Laidlaw Foundation, The Toronto Arts Council, Toronto Economic Development, Culture and Tourism and, co-presented by: wade Collective andYYZ Artists’ Outlet. http://www.wadetoronto.com
Music for Incandescent Events premiered as a part of WADE, June 25 – 27, 2004 Gibraltar Point, Toronto Islands (www.teamproject.ca/wade/) and showed at DeLeon White Gallery rooftop deck as a part of the McLuhan International Festival of the Future, “Scanning Nature” exhibition October 9-17, 2004 (www.mcluhanfestival.com).
Poster for installation world premier at WADE
Robert Cruickshank is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist. His work in various media including electronic and robotic installations, sound art, electroacoustic music, and photography have been exhibited in Toronto, and internationally. He has also developed a number of workshops at InterAccess Electronic Media Art Centre, providing artists with an opportunity to learn electronics. More delights and the ever-stimulating blog "Endless Parade of Excellence" at robcruickshank.net.
Sarah Peebles is a composer, improviser and broadcaster. She has been focusing on sound manipulation via computer, often with live and/or pre-recorded shô since 1990. Her art sometimes explores alternative performance settings, such as museums, bamboo groves, temples, and parks. Her music is available on CD from, Cycling ‘74, Spool, Post-Concrète, Innova, and other labels. Info and audio is on the web at sarahpeebles.net.
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