Music in sculpture

By Andrew Gregory. Posted

Eirik Brandal combines electronics, music and design to make circuits that are wonderous to look at. At times, it seems impossible that they actually work as circuits, but they do. We got in touch with Eric to find out about one of his pieces of art. Composition #11. Here's what he had to say:

"The material I use for the skeleton of my sculptures is 14 and 18 AWG tinned copper wire, often called bus bar wire, or something along those lines. This comes in rolls of 100 feet (30 m) and needs to be straightened before use. The way I do it is that I cut off the desired length and tie one end to a solid, heavy object (in my case, a radiator) and put the other end in a drill. If you keep your copper wire as tight as you can while drilling, you should end up with a perfectly straight wire. If you drill too much, however, the tin layer on the wire will start to pulverise and become weakened.

"Composition #11 was an attempt at recreating the works of Piet Mondrian into a single sculpture – from memory. If you are familiar with Mondrian’s body of work, you would know the
characteristic black lines on a white background, with sparse use of primary colours sprinkled on top. It’s in fact so characteristic that you could speculate whether the entire school of art co-founded by Mondrian, named De Stijl, just contains a series of works of
highbrow plagiarism.

"Composition #11 is tailored to appeal to the audience for interaction and individual composition, with clearly advertised sensors at the centre of the construction. This sculpture uses two XR2206 function generator chips that receive control voltage from two proximity sensors. These sensors also trigger an envelope generator, which in turn controls the output volume of two simple VCAs, so the sculpture is in fact totally quiet until somebody steps in front of it

You can see more of Eirik's work on his website:

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