Standing Wave is a kinetic sound installation that forms deeply layered and visceral patterns of sound and physical motion. In it speakers are held aloft by a set of tall, flexible, motorized poles that arc and sway. The sounds heard from the objects are sustained and complex tones that are linked to the shifts and changes in their movements. These tones comprise an undulating sound field that has a strong and tactile physical presence. The combination of kinetic, sonic, and visual elements creates an immersive environment in which the terrain of activity continually shifts and evolves in an organic manner.
The title describes the reflection and interference patterns created by sound waves as they dissipate their energy in an enclosed space – patterns that define the space acoustically as the patterns themselves are contoured by that same space. Here the title refers not only to the acoustic phenomenon that the piece, in part, explores, but as the movements in Standing Wave appear to oscillate between festivity and menace, it also serves as an allegory for the process and ambiguities of signaling at a distance.
Production assistance: Schuyler Maclay, Annie Oram, Peter Scheidt, and Will Reeves. Stand fabrication: Wright Deter. Developed with the support of the Richard B. Salomon Fund for Faculty Development, Brown University, Providence, RI