Resonant Spaces - Bell Tower

Installation for Third Practice Festival, University of Richmond, November 3-4, 2017.

Four snare drums with transducers, each drum driven by a sound file cycling through recordings of partials derived from the bell in the Boatwright Library tower.

Arranged on November 3 around the hiking trails and common space near Westhampton Lake, such that an observer standing at one beacon can barely hear the sound of a neighbor. Arranged on November 4 within the Jenkins Greek Theatre, and placed with beacons positioned at 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, and 9 o'clock, with respect to an observer standing in the center of the amphitheater facing the stage.

When sounding together the beacons fade into an irregular droning texture, as different overtones collide, reinforce, and interfere with one another. At a distance, this texture fades into and blends with that of the natural soundscape generated by crickets, birds, and nearby pedestrian and auto traffic. At close range, the sound of an individual drum saturates its siting location. 

These sounds arrange themselves in the form of a clock, such that different beacons arrive together at the quarter and half hour. When all four are speaking at the top of the hour, their combined sound reproduces the resonant frequencies of the tower bell.

Participants stopping to listen to a beacon in one location experience the interaction between nearby and far-away reflections, and carve their own physical and aural path through the space over the duration of the event.

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