Live Performance by Dawn Scarfe with Mel Gough and Jane Dickson
In this performance, sound artist Dawn Scarfe presents two of her works: Lenses and Carillon.
Lenses is a multi-speaker installation which investigates sound emanation from wine glasses. Inspiring the work is the bright, reflective quality of glass, and its potential as a 'lens' to focus and propagate sound and light.
The glasses on the plinths are selected according to their unique frequencies, and arranged in descending order, from the smallest (high pitch) to the largest (low pitch). The performers play glasses tuned with water to match the frequencies of the 'lenses' arranged on the plinths. The live sound plays through the small speakers hovering over the rims, encouraging the lenses to resonate at their natural frequencies.
Carillon is an experimental performance which explores the resonant qualities of cymbals. Electric guitars are tuned to the cymbals, which act as mechanical filters, producing a rich and metallic carillon-like sound. Performers play with bows, and metal poles to bring out different aspects of the sound.
Both Lenses and Carillon encourage the phenomenon of sympathetic resonance by playing sounds into glasses and cymbals which share their natural frequencies. The works probe our understanding of such acoustic effects, which in the absence of modern scientific explanation have been linked to mysterious and occult forces.