Portal

August 2014: Size: Approximately 7' x 7' x 9'
- Medium/Materials: Polyester Drafting Film, RGB LED Strips, Sound, Speakers, Microcontroller, Computer and Audio Equipment

Portal is a sculptural installation combining sound, colored light, and constructed forms designed to create a zone for repose and relaxation. The piece is interactive in that the sounds will turn on when a viewer sits on the cushion inside the five crystalline forms, and the lights will change from their resting pattern of slowly pulsing blue to cycling between bright violet, indigo and blue.

There is an independently controlled speaker inside each crystalline form, each one directed toward the center of the encircled space and the viewer in the middle. The sounds are layered sine-wave frequencies composed in harmonic relationships and are generated in real-time as a continuous drone by software. The tallest crystal form has it’s own set of harmonics, and the pairs in the middle and front have different but related sets of harmonics. Using monaural and binaural beat-patterning techniques, the sounds pulse rhythmically back and forth between each shape and across the viewer in interlocking patterns. These patterns can assist in inducing calmness and relaxed brainwave states.

The colored light emanating from each crystalline form is also independently controlled and each one pulses at a different speed. The tallest shape pulses the slowest, followed by the middle and then the outermost forms that pulse slightly faster. The rhythmic pulsing of the lights relates to the pulses in the audio frequencies, with the combined five forms working as an interrelated system.

The goal of this project is to create a space that can enable a positive mood-altering experience. Similar to some of my other pieces, I am interested in the use of drones combined with rhythmic pulses to illicit shifts in attention, facilitate anxiety reduction, assist in trance-like states, calm the nervous system, smooth or tune brainwaves, and assist feelings of well-being. Color and light are used for similar reasons and their intention is to combine synergistically with the sound for similar effects. References to sacred spaces such as stone circles, new-age iconography, mythic and sci-fi symbolism, are intentional in the creation of the ambience generated by Portal.