Tilman Kuntzel - CELESTA SOLARIS
  Year :   1997
  Location :   Germany
  Worktype :   Environmental Installation
  Materials:   steel, tin, solar modules, solar motors, sound-producing devices
  Info :   Sculpture Park of the City of Wolfsburg

  Work Details  
  A Celesta, according to the dictionary, is a steel-sheet piano in the improved version by August Mustel 1886 in Paris. It is also comparable, however, to large-scale chimes with its large steel bars installed in a case similar to a harmonium. The instrument is played by means of a keyboard -like the one used for the cimes in a church tower. This is why the Celesta is considered to be a keyboard instrument. In 1886, the Frenchman August Mustel took out a patent for a further developed version. Because of its powerful, mellow sound, the instrument was called Celesta, derived from the Italian word celest, which means heavenly, divine. The sound sculpture Celesta Solaris consists of an upright, black, rectangular piece of tin (measuring 3m x 1.30m x 0.40m). A folding seat is worked into the front. There are solar modules underneath a glass pane in the flattened lid. They drive the solar motors that are mounted inside the box. In the same spot different sound producing devices are installed, which are hit by the threads fastened to the axles of the motors in varying dynamics depending on the intensity of light. The sound-producing elements consist of different kinds of metal in different diameters, such as silver, brass, and aluminium. They transmit their proper sounds directly through the tin wall. The box forms the body of resonance of those sound-sources. Moreover, the acoustic sound area is produced by a drum, a free-swinging cymbal and plasic beakers. The harmony of these materials` sound was consciously designed. The materials have been chosen to add to this harmonic sound result. When the seat is turned down, the contact between the modules and the motors is established. The observer may now have a seat and listen to the ostinato sound, which is changing as the intensity of sunlight changes.