The work originated from an interest in the properties of ceramic pieces - how once baked they sound like metals. The work relates to Bells, previously. The sculpture is suspended from the ceiling like a sort of chandelier. In the work I intermixed metal pieces (household objects like a pan lid, a steel bracket, a baking tin) with ceramic pieces and also some wooden pieces. Each of course with its very different sounds, from very clear and ringing (the steel angle bracket) to quite dull (the wooden cylinder).
I devised electronic hammers made from large nails and electric coils, controlled by a computer. The golden box in the photo is the power supply. The title Instrument suggests the work is a musical instrument - however it cannot be played; it plays itself. The computer controls the hammers according to a set of rules and patterns. Some degree of chance and randomness is built into these ‘compositions’, which vary over the course of time. An important part of getting the sound right was to find a balance between silence and activity.
Instrument, 2017
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