Title: Ode to the Creature of Metal and Light
Release Date: 2014 Jan 16
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: No Type
Pulsewidth’s metallic creäture ode takes us in a very different direction. It is a “Sonic impressions based on observation and interaction with the kinetic sculpture The Cosmos In Which We Are by Pascal Dufaux.” Here is a video of the sculpture:
Based on his observation of the sculpture, Pulsewidth composed these pieces, which he performed with the sculpture on February 22, 2013 at Neutral Ground Contemporary Art Forum in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Pulsewidth’s Metallic Creäture Ode
The concept of Dufaux’s sculpture is taking something like the Mars Rover and letting it explore the earth and send back images and video of the world it finds around it. In his sculpture he does just that: sets up a domain and a little wandering bot that beams images and video to screens that surround it in the gallery.
Pulsewidth’s three compositions, ‘Mantra for Robotic Surveillance (Parts 1 & 2)’, ‘Soundtrack for the Cosmos in Which We Are (Parts 1 & 2)’ and ‘Ode to the Creature of Metal and Light’ were composed in reaction to, and interaction with the sculpture.
The sounds that are presented to us are mostly still with little changes throughout, Most of the time there aren’t the leaps and jumps that might be expected as the images on the screens change. There are subtle differences in pitch, or a small glissando here and there throughout most of the work. However, occasionally are interruptions to the stillness of it all, there will be sudden additions which just as abruptly go away.
It’s all surprisingly very much like the soundtrack to a sci-fi space movie from the 60’s or 70’s. The kind of sounds that don’t actually exist in space,and are necessary for most of us to be able to interpret the movement of ships or other celestial bodies.
In a way I have a problem relating to this work. On its own I enjoy it very much. I get the feeling of being adrift in space and encountering other entities in the vast openness around me. I also get that the perspective of these encounters may be strange and unusual.
Now, relating to this work as an interpretation of Dufaux’s sculpture is difficult. I get the feeling / impression that to really understand the relationship of the sound to the visuals provided by the sculpture it is necessary to experience it live. The video of the sculpture at the top of the review helps a bit to understand it, but experiencing the actual performance would make it a lot better.
So, I would take this as a work that was inspired by a sculpture, but take it on its own terms. It’s still a really nice, and enjoyable work on its own, even without the visual association with the sculpture.