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December 26, 2006



Sounding Balloons

Ballonnenveld, an installation by Martijn Tellinga, displays a sounding and vibrating body of helium-filled balloons. The balloons function as resonance-chambers for a trimmed spectrum of sine-waves that are fed through strings, connecting the balloons with double-coned carspeaker-elements. Each balloon holds its own resonance-frequency that changes over time as a result of varying temperature in the space, amount of helium in the balloon (decreasing over time) and length of the string. Hitting the resonance-frequency the balloons start to get bumpy, as well as the connecting strings, clearly showing the waveshape of the soundsignal going through. This of course causes an acoustical process, perceiveable in the space. Carefully balancing the level between direct sound from the carspeaker-elements and the acoustical-qualities produced by the balloons, creates a musical mechanism that bridges between instrumental and electronic sonoroties and, gently directing the balloons, between acousmatic music and instrumental playing.

The balloons are also a switch in a feedback-loop and, because of their movement, affect the amount of pick-up from the microphones placed above. Each feedback-circle knows a number of breakouts to balloons solely functioning as resonance-chambers. Through pitchshifting, these balloons show slightly different colouring in sound and add to a slowly shifting and modulating body of tones and subtle timbral distortions that arise from the field of balloons. Ballonnenveld explores and visualizes the physicality of electronic sound, though succeeds very well to hold on to its magic and serenity through the particular acoustical behaviour of the installation, hopefully capturing the poetry of the physical process that is behind.

Ballonnenveld was developed in collaboration with Radboud Mens and Danny de Graan and with the support of STEIM and FAPK. [via]

Posted by jo at December 26, 2006 10:34 AM