95 Chimes (2005)

"95 Chimes" is an audio/digital sculptural installation that relates string theory to music and the origin of matter by the harmonies, energies and vibrations that the chimes produce.

The project will result in a sound installation in a gallery setting and also separately as a audio CD/Blu-ray disc of chimes music. Chimes were recorded in the Lascar recording studio under a co-production from Banff Centre for the Arts and then digitally edited and layered using ProTools music software. For the installation CD/Blu-ray players will be hooked up to speakers in a grid around the room. The effect will be similar to hearing a piece of “sculptural” music; if you stand in the centre of the room you will hear a blending and layering of sounds; form evokes sound and sound evokes form.

In addition to being awareded a Banff Center for the Arts co-production grant, "95 Chimes" has been nominated for a Creative Capital grant and is mentioned in Stephen Wilson’s book Information Arts published by MIT press. It was first presented in ASCI’s ArtSci2002 symposium at the American Museum of Natural History in conjunction with the Einstein exhibit then on view.

Full Description

Windchimes produce overtones in addition to notes on the scale. Overtones are layers of tones that create an entire spectrum of sound. Our voice or any instrument produces overtones that makes its sound distinctive. When we hear two or more notes related by whole number ratios (like in chimes), we hear the missing tones in addition to overtones.

These missing notes don’t exist but are created in the ear. Sound has always had a highly spiritual significance because many culture’s creation myths state that everything originated from it. In his “Music of Spheres”, Pythagoras said that the basic intervals of music are re-created in the motions of the planets,and give form and order to everything in the universe.

Superstring Theory claims that all matter exists as a result of the harmonics created by very small vibrating strings that join together to form loops as they move through space and time. An infinite array of vibrating tubes is created that mathematically describes the interactions of subatomic particles and gravity. Brian Greene in his book “The Elegant Universe” says that “with the discovery of superstring theory, musical metaphors take on a startling reality, for the theory suggests that the microscopic landscape is suffused with tiny strings whose vibrational patterns orchestrate the evolution of the cosmos and that the loops in string theory can vibrate in resonance patterns similar to those of violin strings”.

According to string theory, the mass of an elementary particle is determined by the energy of the vibrational pattern of its internal string. Heavier particles have internal strings that vibrate more energetically, while lighter particles have internal strings that vibrate less energetically. Also since the mass of a particle determines its gravitational properties, we see that there is a direct relationship between a string’s vibrational pattern and a particle’s response to gravitational force, therefore the observed properties of an elementary particle exist because of the resonant vibrational pattern of its internal string.

Oscillating chimes of different sizes from 6” to 45” and materials (wood, bamboo, glass and metals) were struck a variety of ways to fully express their tonal range. They were individually recorded via microphone, then digitally edited and layered in ProTools. A computer running a ProTools session will be hooked up to amplifiers and wall mounted dipole speakers placed strategically at ear level around a room to create an enveloping surround sound. The effect will be similar to hearing and being inside a piece of “sculptural” music. If you stand in the center of the room you will hear a blending and layering of sounds; sound evokes form and form evokes sound. In addition to the gallery installation I plan to make a separate audio CD of chimes music which can also be streamed over the internet as sound-art.

“95 Chimes” is a digital sound sculpture/installation that relates string theory to music (see “New York Arts Magazine”) and the origin of matter and provides a three-dimensional musical metaphor for these smallest particles of matter and the harmonies, vibrations, and energies they produce. It was recorded in Sept. 2005, in the Banff Center for the Art’s Luscar recording studio under a co-sponsorship grant. The project was first presented at the ASCI SciArt Symposium in 2002 at the Museum of Natural History in conjunction with the Einstein exhibit. It has been nominated for a Creative Capital grant and mentioned in Stephen Wilson’s Information Arts (MIT Press 2003).

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Artist Statement

Windchimes produce overtones in addition to notes on the scale. Overtones are layers of tones that create an entire spectrum of sound. Our voice or any instrument produces overtones that makes its sound distinctive. When we hear two or more notes related by whole number ratios (like in chimes), we hear the missing tones in addition to overtones.

These missing notes don’t exist but are created in the ear. Sound has always had a highly spiritual significance because many culture’s creation myths state that everything originated from it. In his “Music of Spheres”, Pythagoras said that the basic intervals of music are re-created in the motions of the planets,and give form and order to everything in the universe.

Superstring Theory claims that all matter exists as a result of the harmonics created by very small vibrating strings that join together to form loops as they move through space and time. An infinite array of vibrating tubes is created that mathematically describes the interactions of subatomic particles and gravity. Brian Greene in his book “The Elegant Universe” says that “with the discovery of superstring theory, musical metaphors take on a startling reality, for the theory suggests that the microscopic landscape is suffused with tiny strings whose vibrational patterns orchestrate the evolution of the cosmos and that the loops in string theory can vibrate in resonance patterns similar to those of violin strings”.

According to string theory, the mass of an elementary particle is determined by the energy of the vibrational pattern of its internal string. Heavier particles have internal strings that vibrate more energetically, while lighter particles have internal strings that vibrate less energetically. Also since the mass of a particle determines its gravitational properties, we see that there is a direct relationship between a string’s vibrational pattern and a particle’s response to gravitational force, therefore the observed properties of an elementary particle exist because of the resonant vibrational pattern of its internal string.

Oscillating chimes of different sizes from 6” to 45” and materials (wood, bamboo, glass and metals) were struck a variety of ways to fully express their tonal range. They were individually recorded via microphone, then digitally edited and layered in ProTools. A computer running a ProTools session will be hooked up to amplifiers and wall mounted dipole speakers placed strategically at ear level around a room to create an enveloping surround sound. The effect will be similar to hearing and being inside a piece of “sculptural” music. If you stand in the center of the room you will hear a blending and layering of sounds; sound evokes form and form evokes sound. In addition to the gallery installation I plan to make a separate audio CD of chimes music which can also be streamed over the internet as sound-art.

“95 Chimes” is a digital sound sculpture/installation that relates string theory to music (see “New York Arts Magazine”) and the origin of matter and provides a three-dimensional musical metaphor for these smallest particles of matter and the harmonies, vibrations, and energies they produce. It was recorded in Sept. 2005, in the Banff Center for the Art’s Luscar recording studio under a co-sponsorship grant. The project was first presented at the ASCI SciArt Symposium in 2002 at the Museum of Natural History in conjunction with the Einstein exhibit. It has been nominated for a Creative Capital grant and mentioned in Stephen Wilson’s Information Arts (MIT Press 2003).

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