Konrád, Tivadar

Ray Lee: Siren - A kinetic sound installation

2011.01.07. 08:32


Siren is a spectacular performance piece that takes place within an installation of large sound sculptures; metal tripods with rotating arms that emit electronic drones.

Two performers move with the mass of swirling metal, tuning the drones to create a hypnotic composition and controlling the machinery to create a stunning audio visual spectacle. Siren is a true synthesis of different artistic traditions.

This 'choir of rotating sirens' creates an audio visual spectacle that is essentially a live experience. Wherever you stand in the space it sounds different. As the arms rotate, the sound pulses past the listener with a Doppler-like effect, while the cluster of closely tuned oscillators creates a rich and pervasive sound world. A minimalist phasing of the rhythmic pulses emerges as the varying speeds of rotation of the arms makes the pulsing tones phase against each other in a constantly evolving polyrhythmic structure. The closeness of the tuning of the separate tones sets off a series of amazing overtones that evoke the sense of an ethereal choir.

Ray Lee's work investigates his fascination with the hidden world of electro-magnetic radiation and in particular how sound can be used as evidence of invisible phenomena. He is interested in the way that science and philosophy represent the universe, and his work questions the orthodoxies that emerge, and submerge, according to the currently fashionable trends. He creates spinning, whirling, and pendulous sound installations that explore "circles of ether," the invisible forces that surround us.

"The work was called 'Siren' because I made thirty spinning sirens that rotate, emitting pulsing electronic tones. I liked the sense of danger that the word conveys, together with the idea of the siren call, luring people towards it. In Hanger 3022, the sirens had inevitable echoes of the site's history, but for me the work had an elegiac quality. The sound of my sirens is more like an ethereal choir rather than the warning air raid tones you expect from the word siren." Ray Lee

Ray Lee: Siren

January 14, 15 (19 & 21 pm), 16 (17 pm) - Trafó (District 9, Liliom utca 41.)

Creator: Ray Lee

Performers: Ray Lee, Harry Dawes, Stavroula Kounadea

Technician: Stavroula Kounadea