Sonic Garden exhibition organized by the Onassis Foundation, part of the Sounds Now Festival.
Installation in the garden of the French School of Athens.
Curated by Raquel Castro. 2022
Wood, motors, arduino microcontrollers, custom electronics, ukulele and guitar strings, felt, silicone, metal, nylon strapping, plastic.
nomadic noises is a temporary confluence of sonic circumstances in a particular space in a determined time.
The installation proposes an experience that emerges from a group of sound-making small sculptures interacting with the aural ambience in the garden.
A set of eight, tree-mounted simple shelters house an assembly of motors teasing sounds from different materials. Some of the structures hold instrument strings and produce pitched tones, others function as percussion instruments. And while the motors follow pre-programmed routines, elements of uncertainty are introduced at a few levels: the routines are modular and selected at random, creating a generative composition; each structure is autonomous, the lack of precise sync creating evolving loops; and, the motors are mounted in such a way that their very motion modifies their interaction with the structures – for example, a vibration motor at the end of a free-hanging wire bounces irregularly among 3 surfaces, creating 3 distinct sounds.
The simple, miniature make-shift shelters are installed on and among the trees and vegetation. Their simplified architecture is discreet, but not quite fitting in. Definitely a fabricated thing among the natural forms.
The interconnected rhythms emanating from them spread around a section the garden and welcome other sounds to fill in, a syncopated field joining in the local sonorities: birds, wind, distant dogs. The piece is first encountered through this sonic space. The birdhouse-like constructions are not immediately obvious to the eyes, but neither are they hidden. Their construction designed for lightness and portability, these seemingly precarious shelters don’t try to hide their fabricated aspect, but gamely adapt to the local conditions.
Here they are in Brooklyn:
Here’s a look at all the houses running and some images of the process: