Gordon Monahan - When It Rains
  Year :   2003
  Location :   Canada
  Worktype :   interactive sound installation
  Materials:   -
  Info :   Open Ears, Kitchener, Ontario, 2003 Audio Art 2005, Cracow

  Work Details  
  When It Rains is an interactive-automated-sound-sculpture-environment, consisting of a set of home-made sound-making instruments. Pre-programmed musical sequences play on an ensemble of kinetic sound sculptures. These sequences are triggered by data input from viewers. The data is processed through a computerized-random-decision-making-process that determines which sequences are played and how many sequences are layered upon each other. At the centre of the kinetic instruments are two ‘Tilting Instruments’ that consist of metal tubes in which ball bearings roll up and down, as in a ‘rainstick’ (a traditional South American instrument). The tubes are balanced at their fulcrum point and will tilt back and forth intermittently as weights (bags of water), suspended from each end of the tubes, fluctuate. The rolling of ball bearings inside the metal tubes is indeterminately-controlled by the dripping of water out of the water-bags that are in balanced suspension from the end of each tube. The drips fall on amplified percussive instruments (metal and wood based objects) in rhythmic patterns; the choice of patterns is determined by the interactive midi-data received by the computer. An element of suspense arises as we await the tilting actions, and as with a scale, the tilting instruments symbolise comparative processes. These tilting instruments, combined with metal sheets and amplified piano strings, will produce a montage of sound imagery that stimulates the listener to examine the question of ‘opposites’ and ‘contradictions’ in sound and musical phenomena. The central compositional concern is to use the ‘primitive sounds’ (e.g. water dropping on amplified metal, etc.) to imitate ‘technological sounds’ (e.g. electronic samplers imitating natural sounds) that are not present in the installation but whose acoustic images reside in the perceptual memory of the modern listener. Accessed 05.01.2008 from http://www.openears.ca/2003_site/installations.html