Thursday, March 10, 2011

Blake Carrington - Visual/Acoustic Installation and Performance of Gothic Cathedral Scans

Cathedral Scan translates the architectural plans of Gothic cathedrals into open-ended musical scores. Through a custom Max/MSP/Jitter patch, laptop and MIDI controllers, the plans are sonified in a real-time performance of image and sound. Rich organ-like harmonics and unique rhythmic signatures emerge from each graphic icon in a live scanning process.

Groups of scanners filling the sonic spectrum may act in synch, forming a single harmonically-dense rhythm, or they may scan the plans at different speeds, resulting in complex polyrhythms. Each plan is treated as a modular score, with a distinct rhythm and timbre of its own. Also, by varying the speed and intensity of each scanning group, drone-like sounds may emerge based on the “resonant frequency” of the black and white plan.

Visually, the scanning reveals the graphic structure. Smoke-like wisps appear and fade away as the scanners make each pass, suggesting a metaphor between architecture and ghost-like palimpsest. An empty white field surrounds each plan, placing them in a minimal landscape that is both flat and expansive.
Performances 2009-2011:
CATHEDRAL SCAN CD RELEASE CONCERT, Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, NYC
BEYOND/IN WESTERN NY BIANNUAL, Hallwall’s Contemporary Art Center, Buffalo NY
RENCONTRE, Rustines Lab, Montreal Québec
CATHEDRAL SCAN v.2, Hendricks Chapel, Syracuse NY