Concord / Op. 21 for electric strings, 2010
Sound and light sculpture: steel, electronics, amplification.
Dimensions variable, new composition is designed for every space
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“Concord is a sculptural musical instrument consisting of a number of metal strings of various lengths. The sound of the instrument is created by a network of self-resonating strings arranged in a space. The strain of the strings and the corresponding pitch of sound create a musical succession, the total of which is a harmonious chord.”
Inspired by the work of Pythagoras, who according to legend used a monochord instrument to study acoustics, the piece explores organization of several glowing and resonating metal strings of various lengths (one to seven meters). Strings of heat-resistant alloy are caused to vibrate by putting electronic current through a metal wire and exposed to magnetic field (a method devised by American composer Alvin Lucier). As the frequency of the alternating current coincides with the resonances and overtones of the string, mechanical vibration occurs and a sound is heard. With the increase of current, the wire becomes glowing-hot thus making it emit light and exposing the standing sound waves. The strings are fixed to resonators that amplify and radiate vibrations in space without the use of conventional loudspeakers.
Concord is presented as sculptural structure of square metal resonators of various lengths (1 - 7 meters) supported on solid stands and strung with glowing-hot metal strings. Custom-made composition software creates succession of chords, by commuting combinations of tones to activate individual strings. The installation is variable in size; new arrangement of resonators is designed for every space.
Technical specification is available by request.