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Michaela Gleave with Amanda Cole and Warren Armstrong
A Galaxy of Suns 2016
36-part choral performance, smart phone app, staging, lighting program and sound design
performance documentation, Dark Mofo 2016, Hobart
Photograph: Michaela Gleave
Courtesy of the artist and Anna Pappas Gallery, Melbourne
A Galaxy of Suns features a 36-part choir ‘singing’ the stars as they rise and set over the horizon.
A unique collaboration across contemporary music, art, astronomy, and design, it utilises smart device technology to create a work of art capable of operating on a galactic scale. A specifically created smart phone app uses GPS to deliver micro-tonal sonic cues to the 36 singers, allowing them to ‘sing’ the stars live, in real-time for their location.
Tracking the Earth’s motions through space, A Galaxy of Suns documents the audience’s precise position in relation to the stars, sonifying stellar data to create a sound and visual composition unique to their location in space and time. The app works with parameters such as location on the horizon, distance from Earth, star luminosity and chemical classification, and translates them into sonic and aesthetic variables including pitch, volume, duration, timbre, colour and light intensity. Whilst it creatively interprets science, A Galaxy of Suns is not an illustrative, literal or educational translation of data. Rather, it is a celebration of beauty and wonder at the ultimately inaccessible and intangible nature of stars.
A Galaxy of Suns is a project by visual artist Michaela Gleave, composer Amanda Cole, and app developer and digital artist Warren Armstrong, work with the advising astronomer is Dr Michael Fitzgerald.
This performance is presented at the Ian Potter Museum of Art as part of the Melbourne Festival.
Book tickets via the Melbourne Festival website.