Francisco López – “VIRTUAL SONIC WATER”
International Exhibition ExpoZaragoza 2008
June 14th – September 14th 2008
“VIRTUAL SONIC WATER” is a double sonic intervention created by sound artist Francisco López for the Spanish Pavilion of the ExpoZaragoza 2008. It includes a performance in the outside surroundings of the Pavilion and a sound installation in the Omnimax theatre inside it, that present the contrast between ancestral sound techniques and the latest electronic technology. Both converge in the reproduction of water sound, yet none of them aims at simply “reproducing” but rather to give rise to an aesthetic and emotional experience through sound as a gate to access those levels of appreciation that each person can subjectively interpretate.
1 – “RAIN ORCHESTRA”
Place: outside surroundings of the Spanish Pavilion
Performance: every day at 10:30AM and 9:00PM
Approximate duration: 10 minutes
The rainstick is an ancestral instrument whose precise origin is unkown. It has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples worldwide. With the simplicity of a tube filled with particulated material (seeds, sand, shells) it produces a surprising and lush sound that imitates rain or a small water stream. “Rain Orchestra” is a composition – performance for 100 rainsticks performed by a coordinated group of 50 volunteers. This work explores, in a purely acoustic fashion, the sonority of this water simulation, as well as the textures and overlapping of sound layers that arise from the synchronous and random combinations of a myriad of these instruments.
2 – “SOUND VOYAGE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD’S WATERS”
Place: Omnimax of the Spanish Pavilion
Performance: every day at 9:30PM
Approximate duration: 15 minutes
The sound of water is a prototypical example of broad-band sound, that is, a sound that contains many different and simultaneous audible frequencies. In a sense, is a kind of sound material that contains, as a possibility, all the imaginable tones and harmonies. “Sound Voyage Throughout the World’s Waters” is a sound installation designed for the sound system with hundreds of speakers of the Omnimax Theatre of the Spanish Pavilion, and it is peformed in complete darkness in this space. It does not present music in the traditional sense. Instead, it is composed of several virtual sound evironments created from a multitude of original field recordings of water of natural environments (oceans, rivers, lakes, rain, etc.) from all over the world, which have been recorded by the artist over the past twenty years. These sound materials have been transformed in the studio to give rise to an immersive and dynamic large-scale experience, with spatilization and movement of sound, that drifts between reality and an organic and unreal harmony, and that has been extracted –we could say distilled- from that original reality.