GORDON MONAHAN - SASKATCHEWAN SOUND INSTALLATIONS
Released February 10th, 2008
For his third release on C3R, Gordon Monahan conjures up the prairies of Saskatchewan with an impressive series of varied tracks ultilising his fascinating installations. The piercing cry of the ‘Theremin Pendulum’ begins an auditory odyssey that takes us across a soundscape both harsh and delicate. A sense of openness infects these pieces, as Monahan shows us once again that he is a master of spacing and pacing.
This disc, like Monahan’s other releases on C3R, is packaged in a handsome digipak.
1. Theremin Pendulum 2:35
Description of the sound installations heard on this CD:
A Very Large Vinyl LP Constructed in Acoustic Space
Eight loudspeakers are arranged in a circle in the exhibition space. A collage of surface scratches and vintage easy listening records fade in and out, spinning either clockwise or counterclockwise or both directions simultaneously creating an illusion of a virtual vinyl LP spinning in acoustic space.
Aeolian Winds Over Claybank Saskatchewan
Video and audio tracks dovvumenting the installation of long piano wire strings at the Claybank Brick Factory in the summers of 2006 and 2007. Long piano strings, up to 100 mertres in length, were attached to a chimney and stretched to multiple points along the roofs of long wooden storage buildings at the brick plant. As the wind blew across the strings, aeolian tones were activated in the wires, and these tones were amplified by contact to the roofs of the storage buildings. As the audience walked through the interior of the buildings, they heard changing tones inside the spaces, depending on the listener's position in relation to the points where the strings were attached. In the video (quicktime file viewable from the CD), multiple images are overlaid in cross-dissolves, creating an abstract visual impression of the installation, architecture, and landscape.
A theremin antenna made of flexible wire is mechanized so that is swings spastically as a chaotic pendulum. This causes the theremin to change pitch according to the swinging motion of the pendulum. The sound produced is multiplied by a delay system so that we hear the sound of 8 theremins at the same time. This is mixed automatically by a computer mixing program, and is then broadcast into the gallery. Also attached to the antenna pendulum is a light that swings with the antenna, causing shadows to be thrown in the darkened gallery that mirrors the frequency wave changes in the theremin.
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