Aeolian Pipes and Air-songs

Aeolian Pipes and Air-Songs explores the connection between the visual and aural landscapes of the North Norfolk coast. The work places the emphasis on sound to create a multi-sensory evocation of place.

The wind is the principal material in the pieces which are named after Aeolus, the ruler of the four winds in Greek mythology.  My intention in this body of work is to show how the wind can animate stiffened cloth by making it come alive with sound.

Aeolian sound is produced by the wind when it encounters an obstacle. Fixed objects, such as buildings or wires, can cause humming or other constant sounds that are called Aeolian tones.  Wind that flows over a cylinder or stretched wire produces a pitch that is determined by the wind speed and the diameter of the cylinder or the tension on the wire.

The Aeolian Pipes sing with an eerie, breathless hum that I call Air-songs. The pitch rises and falls along the harmonic series as the wind strengthens and then drops. The voices of the pipes intertwine and blend before being blown away with the wind.