HYDROCORDION by Di Mainstone, Louis McCallum
Design Consultancy: Richard Shed, Kate Cheyne, Nanda Karpong, David Gauthier
Commissioned by: Dublin Science Gallery and Professor Mark Plumbley, Queen Mary University of London. Funded by: Queen Mary University of London, Media Arts and Technology, EPSRC.
The Hydrocordion is a playful musical device that invites visitors to become 'squeezicians' and compose soundscapes through the manipulation of air and water. Like a church organ, this instrument releases sound by the propulsion of air into pipes via air-slippers, which are installed around its circumference. To release a tune, squeezicians must commence a vigorous slipper-jig, thus providing a continual supply of air to each of the cylindrical aqua-flutes at the Hydrocordion's centre. Our liquiphiles' job does not stop there -- simultaneously, they must attach a water bustle to their body and squeeze the liquid from the rubberised sack into the central aqua-flutes to change the frequency of the sounds. From afar, the audience will see these transparent water columns filling and draining as the wearable water-bustles are compressed and released. The sounds that they will hear will be a mixture of digitised harmonies, combined with samples of sploshings and water- drips, which will be harvested in real time, thus creating a bespoke musical experience for squeezicians and audience alike.
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