Pluto – Music of the Spheres – Dream, Vision, Goal, Plan

Dream – Create an expression of the harmony and tension present within and without. The vibrations that push, pull, intermingle. Destruction, regeneration. Cycles of change. Washes of experience, being. Ebbs, flows. Waxing, waning. Resonances, gravity, buoyancy. Stability, chaos. Harmonic consonance and dissonance. Pluto as a vehicle, its interaction with its surroundings the map, in the form of the music of the spheres.

Vision – Pluto’s qualities of destruction and regeneration, along with the proportional harmonies and dissonances alluded to in the Music of the Spheres will be represented in the form of a large scale acoustic musical installation. The installation is a large sphere built out of musical instruments strings. The sphere is large enough that people can walk inside of it, and through the spaces in the strings. Each string has an electromagnet on it that vibrates the string and moves a little to touch the string at times, creating different resonances. People inside can just listen and be surrounded by the vibrating strings, or they can reach out and pluck the strings, actively participating with the installation.

Goal – My goal for this semester at ITP is to build, at the very least, a smaller version of this, if not the full one. The plan is to string different lengths of piano wire and possibly guitar string from floor to ceiling, with shorter strings on the outside, and getting longer as the strings get closer to the center. Each string will have a homemade eBow up near the top. An eBow is a device that has a telephone pickup that picks up the frequency the string is vibrating at, and then an output transformer that vibrates the string at the same frequency the telephone coil is picking up, creating a feedback loop. These will be on a servo so at times they can touch the strings and create further interesting resonances. The strings will not vibrate all at the same time, but different harmonies will emerge from time to time, and move around and through the structure. At times consonant, at times dissonant, these harmonies will reflect the continually changing states of stability and chaos present throughout the universe, the world, and us.

Plan – Research how to build eBow, order parts, build, iterate. Design full installation, keep iterating. Build one string, figure out structure then apply to all strings. Build all.
Mile Stones:

  • October 15th – have built eBow circuit, have tested on single string
  • October 29th – have built and finished design for one string
  • November 5th – have finished iterating on overall design, time to just iterate on building it all out!
  • December 3rd – finished most of the installation, tweak problems, document
  • December 10th – done!

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