Music on a Bound String No. 2 (reflecting light)


Musical installation, 2015

Duration: 16'' loop

Premiere: "Alba Triana: Silent and Interactive Music" Exhibit, Subtropics XXIII Festival, Art Center / South Florida, Miami, FL, U.S., 2015

This work belongs to a series of musical installations reflecting upon a fundamental question: Is the act of listening indispensable in musical experience?


Must sound travel through the air and be perceived by our ears to become music?


In search of a response, this composition experiments with inaudibility. Thus the ensemble is designed to visualize sound as it travels through the string, making the main sonic material for the composition visible. Natural wave behaviors and properties, along with acoustic phenomena, are explored in a 16 minute musical discourse that can be seen on the undulating cord. Hence, light becomes a structural parameter in the composition. By projecting a beam of transforming color, light and sound waves interact as they both travel through the oscillating string, unifying the sonic and the visual in a single complex vibration that allows for a comprehensive examination of resonating phenomena.


The piece is presented as a free-standing vibrational sculpture that uses mechanic (sound) and electromagnetic (light) waves as the main materials. Visitors can sit on a bench and observe how the composition unfolds throughout the 16 minutes, or walk around the space appreciating how reflections are perceived differently depending on the angle of view.


Behind the sculpture, the shade of the vibrating string and the speaker are seen on a two-dimensional plane which completes and reinforces the multidimensional nature of the work: A musical piece, taking the form of a sculpture, is reflected in a bidimensional plane, encompassing the temporal, the visual and the spatial.


Music on a Bound String No. 2 refers to art and music as means for elevating the real. Very basic and intangible components of nature, such as waves, are used to develop a meditative and poetic discourse, making these physical elements capable of transmitting abstract, transformative information. There is an intangible dimension in this work. The object being observed is an illusion of the mind; the shade is a ghostly image of a ghostly sculpture; and the musical composition relies on the process of transformation of a mantra, a sound wave that opens and closes repeatedly, every 10 seconds, promoting a mental state that facilitates contemplation.


Alba Triana would like to thank:


•   Christian Kook: Technical consulting

•   Luis Fernando Henao: Technical consulting