quintetto by quiet ensemble quintetto by quiet ensemble
sep 15, 2011

quintetto by quiet ensemble

front view

the project was born in 2009, between the collaboration of Bernardo Vercelli and Fabio Di Salvo. the materials used are 5 plexiglass tanks filled up with clean water. Inside each tank there is a goldfish swimming constantly. Under each tank there is a couple of stripe led controlled by the hardware arduino. each tank gets lit time by time by a fixed loop decided by the human artists, once each tank gets lit the fish inside it starts playing his musical instrument. a sensor positioned in front of the five tanks tracks the color and movement of the five living creatures, each goldfish has his own electronic instrument and plays it when his tank gets lit. The concert starts from a solo and grows up till all the five aquarius are lit.

“Quintetto” is an installation based on the study of casual movement of objects or living creatures used as input for the production of sounds. the basic concept is to reveal what we call “invisible concerts” of everyday life. the movements of the 5 fishes in the aquarius is captured by a videocamera, that translates in real time (through a computer software) their movements in digital sound signals. we’ll have 5 different musical instruments creating a totally unexpected live concert. looking at the world and the infinite events composing it as pure forms and movements, sounds and colours just like a painting, video or music piece, we focused on the principles of casuality, putting attention on causes and effects of chaos and it’s opposite, control/order, by underlining small events and their greatness. every movement we see in nature can be perceived as a visual concert, like the storm of birds moving together creating astonishing patterns, or snow falling from the sky touching the ground. some of those events give an actual uditive responce, some other can only give an abstract visualization of it, so we decided to create a unique creature, merging the elements of chaos and control in a conceptual and concrete fisical shape. we desire to repropose childhood astonishment, amusement from simplicity, to shake a little the sleepy awareness of the ordinary, by showing something common like a simple goldfish into an aquarius, and revealing his hidden magics. In this installation we give great importance to every single movement of this animals, underlining it by connecting together the two elements movement and sound. each fish has his own aquarius, one meter high and 30 cm wide so the goldfishes basically are swimming in a vertical direction. the unespected movements of a goldfish swimming slowly and suddenly changing direction and speed is intriguing, we spend hours and hours observing them, being spectators of incredible casual situations, the five creatures standing close to each other each in his own tank, where positioning each other creating straight lines, or perfect diagonals and other geometrical shapes, minute after minute they where giving us great visual responce, enphasized by the sounds that simultaneausly are creating, each fish being director of his own musical instrument and being also responsable for the all “concert”. the infinite concert that the five goldfish/instrument are creating is purposely based on casuality, that means that the sound generated can be fantastic, relaxing but also terrible and annoying, depending on the positions they all take in the aquarius. is no doubt believing that they became aware of their role and just decide when and to who, give a good musical piece. we are so used to see that suddenly we forget to look, so used to hear that suddenly we forget to listen.

the installation needs 4m x 4m x 1m high. For full functionality of the work the installation needs to be positioned by a white wall and installed in a dark and silent space. The 5 tanks are positioned few centimiters from each other, lighted by a couple of LED stripes attached at the bottom of each tank. The equipment used and given by us is: Hardware : 5 tanks in pvc 30cm x 6cm x 100cm 5 goldfishes 1 macbookpro 1 arduino 10000 1 infrared videocamera 1 tripod for videocamera 3m led stripe 1 couple of preamplified audio speackers | minijack cable 1 firewire cable Software : Isadora Ableton Live 6.0.7

project by – Quiet ensemble electronics – Pixelorchestra sound design – Fabio Sestili

a detail

side view



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