The relationship between music, technology and architecture is an oft discussed topic – David Byrne has given TEDtalks on it, Frank Gehry has scribbled post-it notes about it, and numerous works of sound-art and field recordings have emerged which equate sound with the experience of the navigated environment.
DELQA, an interactive music and light installation, is the most recent form of innovative and inventive art which attempts to reconcile these three fields. The brainchild of techno DJ and avant-pop aficionado Matthew Dear, appeared at New York’s NEW INC gallery earlier this month, and has been forging further pathways between music, architecture and modern technology. Gallery visitors were invited to explore the cavernous interior of the installation, constructed from tent-structured mesh nets, and urged to push, pull, climb and crawl in, on and around it. Working in conjunction with Microsoft Kinetic technology, Dear composed a series of audio loops to accompany the physical installation, which become new and unique sonic experiences according to movement within the room. The result is a fully immersive sound sculpture where the audience act as both artwork and artist, with Dear’s intricate and sophisticated approach to composition meaning that each separate interaction becomes a layer within a euphonious whole.
This isn’t the first time that Dear’s approach to making music has pushed boundaries. Last year he worked with scientists from General Electric’s Global Research Centre to create ‘Drop Science’, a sublimely crafted 3 minutes of industrial disco formed of over 1,000 samples of General Electric machinery. Whilst ‘Drop Science’ explored the sonic impact of layering unconventional instruments to create a conventional musical style, DELQA investigates how a bodies in a space can create layers of sound in a way which mirrors traditional instrumentation.