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Bruce Wands

New York City, USA
brucewands@aol.com
Variations 703
36" x 36"

Artist Statement: "Variations 703" is an interactive music installation that engages viewers by allowing them to control the music they hear by playing with the sculpture. The music is written for multiple channels and composed in such a way that it can be listened to with any combination of the channels. The music that is heard at any moment in time is infinitely variable by moving the balls on or off the tubes to control the volume of each channel. An outer group of speakers provides the 3D sonic environment for the piece, and an inner group of speakers built into the tubes of the sculpture are for people to interact with. The music is played back through synchronized DVD players. The image above is a 3D visualization of the installation at the Stedeliik Museum het Toreke in Tienen, Belgium, April-June 2001.

GPS and time data were used to provide the foundation for the music. The source of the GPS data varied from everyday journeys to historical events. The principle behind the music composition process is based on the temporal nature of music and our daily lives. As we move about every day, we create a three-dimensional path with an inherent time element. One interesting factor about the historical events is the opening of a "window in time." Other than the trappings of modern civilization, the sounds of a forest, sea shore, or historical building (cathedral, for example) do not change significantly over time and are relatively the same as they were hundreds of years ago.

The GPS and time data from the chosen events were translated into a threedimensional music playback system. The time stamp of the points was scaled to fit the length of the music, and the three-dimensional GPS data were fed through multiple music channels to generate a specific sonic location. Artistic license plays a major part in turning these data into a piece of music. Using the GPS and time data as the basis for the composition, several channels of music were then layered over this sonic structure to create the final piece. Future options include live performances in the gallery space and incorporating video into the installation.