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T. Sensations at FAM Taïpeï

The evolving work of the SENSATION GARDEN :

On the occasion of the new art department’s opening dedicated to youth, the Fine Art Museum Taïpeï invited the artist to continue his artistic research around the issue of INTERIOR GARDEN / OUTDOOR GARDEN through sensations.

« T. Sens » is a sound and interactive installation to be explored. Its objective is to share a musical and sensory experience around sensations and the sound environment of Taiwan. This installation proposes an intimate relationship with the Taiwanese environment and helps to apprehend an original artistic work through experiences combining touch, music and vibration. The poetic evocation of our relationship to the environment creates a space for the exploration of sensations. These sensations and the sound creations to which they are associated, create a link with our own nature through evocations of dreamlike environments.

« T. Sens », composed of four modules, offers the public the chance to rediscover an inner landscape, the sensations of walks along the seaside in the heart of the tropical forest, the freshness of the temples, the hectic pace of the cities, and reassuring interiors. This installation offers a material and a specific musical universe that helps us to reconnect with our sound environment by perceiving it in a sensitive way, out of its usual context.

Thanks to the correlation of touch, sensations and music, « T. Sens » proposes a multiple access to the perception of an artistic work for children, young children and disabled people (handicapped, visually impaired, etc.) 

T. Sens

Scenography

From a garden visit, I remember 

Footbridges, paths

and borders

The 4 modules of « T. Sens » :

A geographical zone = a sound universe = a module = a sensation

This approach will be done by a simple and instinctive interaction through four modules :

•    Human construction : The 3 Gongs

•    The wind : Windy garden

•    The seaside : The Soundbox

•    The jungle : Singing Umbrellas

« T. Sens » aims to provide a sound, sensory and interactive visit through four themes related to Taiwan’s environment : the seaside, the jungle, the wind and human constructions (temple, city, traditional objects). We propose four installations in reference to these four universes, each installation proposes a specific interaction, sensation and musical universe. Thus, the public will be able to become aware of the incredible richness of this environment and will be able to constantly reinvent it through its interaction. 

Each sound universe of the 4 modules of the installation will be composed from field recordings made by the composer. 

Human constructions / The 3 Gongs :

1. The temples : processions, offices, individual or collective prayers, celebrations, the temples have an activity all year round. The musical universe which emerges from it is eminently rich and is intimately linked to religious activities. 

2. Indigenous constructions : the indiginous population has its own culture as much architectural and cultural, as musical. Many artists have reinvested this heritage, particulary in the east and south of the island. 

3. Cities : Taiwanese cities are a reflection of its industrial development, hectic and extensive, vibrant with life day and night. 

The module : three metal plates are suspended from three bamboo frames. These plates are connected to capacitive sensors and vibration motors. As the audience approaches the plates, light gently illuminates the module area. When the audience touches the plates, they start to vibrate and diffuse both the musical composition and the sounds of the vibrations. 

The sensation : touch, vibration.

The sound worlds : the three will be treated differently. For the universe corresponding to the temples, I will use resonant sounds of cult percussion, traditional instruments etc. The idea being to freely evoke the sacred universe of the temples.

For the musical universe of the aborigines, I will mainly use the sound recordings of percussions, thus putting in vibration the wood of the interactive gong. For the city, I will use the abundance of the sound universe of the city as a starting point for a lively and very heterogeneous polyphony.

The wind / The Windy Garden : 

Taiwan is regularly assaulted by wind, tropical winds, storms, typhoons... Wind is part of the omnipresent natural universe, from the caress of the air on the skin to the terrible tropical storms. However the wind has a thousand inflections, including those of the breath, and all objects that meet the flow of air vibrate : wind flutes and wind sound gardens.

 

The module : a gentle stream of air is emitted in this garden and circulates freely. Light and free materials are lifted up : vegetable and industrial materials, strands, strips etc.

When you place your hand inside, or anything else, the air flow is distributed. A sound aggregate is emitted with the air flow. When the disturbances of the air flow are picked up, the sound aggregate is modified. Musical volutes appear, like wind flutes.

The sensation : Caress of the air.

 

The sound universe : a wind flute song floats according to the flow of the air. A musical tune evolves slowly, made up of aggregates, a sort of natural spectrum. Organ of soft flutes, the windy garden is an evocation of spirits of the air, singing softly in space. Variations triggered by obstacles, add, subtract sounds like staggered and inharmonic arpeggios. Disruptive events, they add a notion of chance and multiply the musical possibilities by fast and voluble arpeggios.

The seaside / the Soundbox :

The sea is one of the most natural forces in Taiwan. Its seashore is extremely lively and noisy : waves, pebbles, rocks… various seabirds. The two coasts have very different characteristics : the Pacific side has a wild and violent character (waves, currents, pebbles etc.), while the China seaside is more peaceful (sandy beaches, flatter seashores etc.).

The module : the Soundbox – interactive tray to be filled with vegetable and mineral matter and kneaded with the hands. Mixture of mineral and vegetable matter taken from the natural environment of Taiwan will be places in the Soundbox. As you pass through the tray with your hand, you can hear all the rubbing against the wall, the grains become evocative of distant, aquatic worlds. The vibrations are picked up and trigger sounds that complete this aquatic world.

 

The sensations : burying, rubbing

The sound universe : aquatic and distant worlds, the sound universe of the Soundbox is made up of two complementary elements. The sound of friction on the wall, captured and processed in an extension of distant echoes, creates an environment close to a breath. The complement of this slippery universe is triggered by vibration sensors that make short, fluid and fluent sound samples, distant and soft voices, which can be heard.

The jungle / Singing Umbrellas :

The truculent and sometimes hostile universe of the jungle, impressions of invasion and proliferation of life. An universe made up of a background sound always moving in space and suddenly close events : insects, monkeys, etc. but also waterfalls, rivers etc.

 All this universe provokes the epidermal sensation of being at the center of a natural matrix teeming with life, of which we are conscious of being the hosts for a short moment.

The module : installation where the caress of vegetable matter provokes sound sensations. Three interactive umbrellas are suspended above the public. Creepers of vegetal origin are suspended under each umbrella. Touch sensors provoke sound sensation associated with the vegetal materials.

The sensations : caressing, rubbing.

The sound universe : a light and airy sound material surrounds the three umbrellas. As soon as you touch the creepers, epidermal materials can be heard : prickly, reactive sounds, chewing, mouth noises and twigs cracking…

Design and music : Alexandre Lévy

Artistic direction : Alexandre Lévy

Technical design : Angélique Verbeck

Scenography : Alexandre Lévy and Angélique Verbeck

Computing and music assistance : Max Bruckert

A co-production aKousthéa, Fine Arts – Museum Taïpeï (Taiwan).

With the help of the French Office in Taipei, Centre de Coopération et d’Action Culturelle (CCAC) and the support of GRAME (CNCM- Lyon)