NSP 2017 Finalist • Jenny Ridgway
Since the final year of my BA in 2013, I have been interested in harmonics, in relation to pendular motion, wave forms, and geometric rationality. The work for my MA in 2016 drew on the dual ideas of a sense of stillness emanating from gently rhythmic motion, and that of silence underpinning sound.
My work tends to consist of large-scale kinetic sculptures made from resistant materials which engage audiences by participation or immersion; and are frequently site sensitive. The Aeolian Harp will draw together several of my recurring interests to translate natural elements of the Broomhill environment into audible sound.
Named for Aeolus, the ancient Greek god of the wind, the Aeolian Harp gives voice to Gaia's rhythms and intensities.
The sound sculpture comprises a musical instrument which plays exclusively harmonic frequencies in response to the passing of the wind across No.18 piano strings. 15 strings, tuned to a pentatonic scale are arranged around a 12' steel structure, to enable the production of distinct timbres as a consequence of the movement of airstreams in any direction across its locale.
Vortices occurring in the air down-wind of the strings cause them to vibrate and produce sound. The ethereal music created is in constant flux, and is responsive, not only to the site, but also to each specific moment in time.