SPEEDS OF TIME by Bill Fontana
This work is called “Speeds of Time”, and is a musical deconstruction of the most famous acoustic icon and symbol of time, Big Ben. Live sensors and microphones are mounted on the clockwork mechanism and near the bells of Big Ben to generate a spatial- acoustic composition that is placed in an historic colonnade of the New Palace Yard, directly below and within earshot of the bells. The presence of the sound sculpture in this setting interacts with the natural sound of the bells, creating a multi-dimensional acoustic zone. While this work was installed in Westminster, a 12 hour multi-track recording of the sound sculpture was made that makes it possible to fully recreate the real time sense of this artwork, which can be realized as an 8 channel sound installation. This recording is fully accurate to real time, and if started precisely at five seconds before 10 o’clock, will faithfully keep time.