Musical Automata

Publik Secrets member George Rahi has developed a collection of kinetic sound installations at the Hadden Park fieldhouse studio, blending acoustic instruments, mechanical systems, and electronics into sculptural forms that interact with their environment.

frequencies (2018)

frequencies is a sound installation comprising 15 robotic bells. The array of bells perform a new composition for each location they are installed in. In reference to the historical role that bells played as an organizing rhythm and spatial-political tool within urban environments, the installation stages new forms of interactions between their temporality, resonance and a listening public. The distributed nature of the installation also serves as a strategy of ambient diffusion, provoking listening outwards towards the wider ‘acoustic commons’.

aisatsana (2017)

Composed by Richard D. James (Aphex Twin), ‘aisatsana’ is an ambient piece for piano. This mechanical reproduction of ‘aisatsana’ uses a 100-year-old player piano to play a custom-made roll of the piece. Set on Vancouver’s Hadden Park , the piano is recorded alongside the sounds of the park and tree canopy above, suggesting a “live” version of the bird song heard in the original. An homage to Richard’s signature blurring of the acoustic, electronic, and automatic, the meeting of the programmed score and the incidental soundscape create a sound environment determined by both automation and improvisation.

Formation (2016)

Formation is a kinetic sound installation using rotary speakers as devices for bringing movement and sound into a choreographic relationship. The work re-configures technologies associated with early 20th century electronic organ building, when instrument designers were attempting to synthesize and mimic the acoustics of pipe organs. The installation places the visual perception of cyclic motion in relation to the audibility of acoustic phenomenon such as beats and the sounds of oscillators.

Formation was featured at Vancouver New Music’s 2016 Mechanical Music Festival.