December 21, 2015

The secret sound of light: The Enlightment of Quiet Ensemble

Have you ever thought that light could be listened to, not only seen? It seems a pun, yet someone has been able to make a concert, a real symphony by loosing the secret voice of light. It’s an artists’ collective, named Quiet Ensemble, started up in 2009 by Fabio di Salvo and BernardoVercelli. “Enlightment” is one of their most famous projects.

In order to get the secret sound of the lights the artists have used a copper coil: each lamp has been equipped with a sensor detecting the sound; when the lamp is beaming the sensor catches its electromagnetic field and the sound is conducted through microphonic cables to the computer, at last coming out of the audio plant.

The “voice” of the various lamps is not the same: neon lights’ tune is very similar to violins’, strobe lights’ rhythm reminds us of percussion instruments’ while a theatre light reproduces the harp’s sound. The different frequencies emitted by the lights by their intensity, size and typology determine the tonalities generating a music you can get also secretly.