Samhain Darts

Samhain Darts is a kinetic / audio piece displayed inside of a plexiglass cube. It’s one of a kind work in that its soundtrack both creates the musical background for the piece and also is the main source of vibration for the moving sculptural elements in the installation (full description and pics follow below). The piece was first featured in the group show Bamboula NOLA, on display at Tulane University as part of the international art biennial Prospect 3.0. The original installation was set inside of a fully-darkened cube structure lit only by black light – no adequate pictures survived due to the poor lighting. Only audio remains of version 1…

Soundscape for the piece, providing audio and moving the kinetic elements
Mockup of proposed new version
The new version features a glass cube that can either be suspended in air, or situated at ground level for patrons to enter inside of

The main concept of the work is to use sound vibrations (via multiple loudspeakers installed at the top of the cube) to set small hanging objects into motion. This is achieved by taking ordinary speakers, removing the paper cones (to dampen the sound level), then modifying them to act like guitar bridges, vibrating a set of extra-long colored guitar strings. The sound design is mainly comprised of sine waves programmed to match the resonant frequencies of the strings, plus other upper harmonics. The strings can then be set into vibration in predictable ways where they vibrate in halves, thirds, and so on. A secondary set of hanging objects (glass balls in the current version) vibrate due to contact with the primary strings. The result is a beautiful and subtle audiovisual experience, where sound, physics, and kinetic sculpture are intrinsically linked – the dance of the objects on the strings is sometimes simple, sometimes perplexing.

Basic implementation of speaker-driven string harmonic vibrator
Visual reference for basic look of hanging glass pieces, from a work at the Nashville Int’l Airport by Jacob Hashimoto