Thursday, March 25, 2010

Invisible Idiot

This hole you see has been a distraction for me. I discovered it less than 24 hours ago. It was dug about two years ago by a performance artist, in the woods near Devils Hopyard State Park, East Haddam, CT. A group of students was touring the environmental installations here, when we "stumbled" upon it. The photos show part of an installation that was called "Two Rivers Roar." Below the picture of the hole, is a photo  taken about 17 feet away, where one of the PVC pipes originates. The other one also originates about 17 feet away. From what I have been told, there is a geological fault line in the area, a characteristic of the glacial moraine which gives the topography its salient characteristics. An old friend, on whose property I am a guest for a few weeks, sent me a youtube link a couple weeks ago. It had Marco Mazzini playing contrabass clarinet. I only have a bass clarinet. So when I saw the pipes leading to this hole, I wondered, could I get a bass clarinet, or soprano clarinet, sound to go through the pipes and come out the hole? A devil's errand,to be sure.

Needless to say, this is not what I had planned for my visit here. I had planned to finish a play I had begun some years ago. Since I am so easily distracted, I brought my clarinets along to work on some solos as well. Sounds like a plan to fail but I am no Jaromir Hladik. You can read elsewhere about his success.

Back to the hole. With a hole like this, some PVC pipe, and some clarinets, the first thing that would come to anyone's mind (of course!) is, can they be joined up? Can a big sound be made? My first thought led me to the decaying waterworks of urban America. In one of my hometowns, there exist no surveys or schematics of the iron or clay sewers built as recently as the 1940s. Good thing we have video cameras, huh? I may need one. But, the first thing I have done is write to the performance artist who put these pipes in. I hope to hear back from her. I just want to know if the pipes are continuous and how they are angled. If they have holes, or open sections, it would be like putting sound into the dirt, right? Totally futile.

I don't even know if the breath from one set of lungs (or two sets in the case of a duet) can sustain a sound the 17 foot length of these pipes. But, it should would help if the PVC pipe is clear and tight. I should ask my friend if he has a sewer type video camera lying around.

On the receiving end, this wonderful hole, I would like for the hole to broadcast the sound in whatever form it comes out of the pipes. I guess the hole would need to act like a speaker, but I prefer the term "sound chimney." Anybody know how to build a sound chimney? Of course all chimneys should be "sound." But I am talking about human exhaust gas, co2, breathed through these various lengths of cylindrical bore, and vented in such a way that the music could be heard as far away as possible. Some philosophers say that music predated language. I open up this discussion: what could be put in the hole? Should the end result be a composition, a performance, or an installation? I await counsel.

1 comment:

Harlan said...
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