“Tones & Whispers II" , "Anatomy of a Moment"

part of  the "Lightscape" presentation at Deli-licht Project, Pennisula, Rotterdam , see also "Tones & Whispers", "Anatomy of a Moment"



Pythagorean idea of the World’s Harmony, expressed in consonant relations between its macro and micro components, has been recognized as one of the most significant and influential concepts born by human mind. Pythagoras used to believe that the whole matter emanates tones, that the whole world is the music. He divided it into Musica Mundana (which soon became famous as Music of Spheres) and Musica Humana (music of human body). Their relations, open to mind rather than to our limited senses, have been regulating links between the human being and Universe evolving according to changes in our perception of the world and its understanding. 

For  my video work Johannes Keplers' elaboration of Music of Spheres was performed on theremin - instrument using radio waves . The acquired melodies were then visualized in the form of spheres surrounding particular planets and animated by the musician's hands. They circulate inside the visual landscape (lightscape) composed of images acquired by fMRI brain scanning combined then with distant stars and galaxies.

According to Pythagoras ad his followers  “Music of Spheres” was performed by planets rotating around the Sun – the centre of the universe. However in our contemporary world there is no more objective or absolute point of reference. According to scientific assumptions the only world that is available to us exists in our minds. Thus the Sun in my “Somnium” gave place to human brain/skull.

Elaborated by Dave Lawrance, sound tracks of the pieces transform “Music of Spheres” into multilayered compositions. Textures are built up using natural and digitally processed sounds - including sounds of electricity, alpha brainwaves, the human voice, simple vibration based sounds (of strings/physical objects), sounds generated via light sensor systems, sounds from our environment, and sounds from far off galaxies.

theremin: Barbara Buchholtz

with special thanks to dr Lauren Stewart  Functional Imaging Laboratory, London University, , European South Observatory, NSSDC

  Anatomy of a Moment (fragment)