Maker Faire New York: Eerie Sounds of the Solar Symphony

Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder is a research director at Institute for the Future, the founding editor-in-chief of Make magazine, the co-founder of Boing Boing, the editor-in-chief of Cool Tools.

248 Articles

By Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder is a research director at Institute for the Future, the founding editor-in-chief of Make magazine, the co-founder of Boing Boing, the editor-in-chief of Cool Tools.

248 Articles

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I hope Chris Kaczmarek’s Solar Symphony installation is set up in a quiet spot at Maker Faire New York. The sounds, triggered by variations in ambient light intensity, are eerie and probably best enjoyed in a quiet environment. Even so, the electromechanical instruments are fun to watch.

This project consists of separate solar circuits that store energy and trigger motors and electronic oscillators in an arrhythmic sequence which is regulated both by the amount of light in the room and by variances in the individual circuits. Placed in an environment with variable lighting, the changing frequency of the incidents becomes an audible reminder of the often overlooked and ever changing energy that surrounds us.

This is an installation of five of the preliminary sound objects created for the Solar Symphony in the Passage Gallery at Purchase College. This installation was undertaken to experiment with the use of lighting as a “tuning” aspect, and to examine questions of scale and placement.

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