Venus Smiles
A Sound Sculpture​​​​​​​

Venus Smiles is an acoustically situated sound sculpture for shared performance by multiple players. Resonating copper tubes, suspended in a tensegrity type structure can be played as a musical instrument by using your hands, a bow or your voice.
The instrument is tuned to the resonant frequencies of the room, sharing its tone via intangible vibrations, specifically designed to amplify acoustic properties of the room in reciprocal acoustic relationship. Musical chords and timbres can be built into the structure and the integral aspect of the tensegrity system enhances the communal music-making: Pressure applied through one persons playing on any side of the system will modulate the tension of the whole. If one person is bowing a string, for instance, another person can change its pitch by pushing a tube or bowing another string.
Everyone can play Venus Smiles, even people without a musical background can create immersive sounds to communicate in a language beyond words. The musical architecture is tangible and creates novel interactions with sound and space.
Gallery
Venus Smiles at the Bartlett Graduate Fifteen Show
Different Prototypes at the Fifteen Show
Different Prototypes at the Fifteen Show
The sound vibrations can be felt and stopped by touch.
The sound vibrations can be felt and stopped by touch.
The wires can be played like the musical strings of a cello.
The wires can be played like the musical strings of a cello.
The wires can be tuned with guitar tuning pegs.
The wires can be tuned with guitar tuning pegs.
Playing Venus Smiles is fun.
Playing Venus Smiles is fun.
The transparency of the system makes communal playing easy.
The transparency of the system makes communal playing easy.
Interactions at the Bartlett Fifteen Show
Interactions at the Bartlett Fifteen Show
The foot point of the tensegrity is made of silver soldered brass.
The foot point of the tensegrity is made of silver soldered brass.
The design of the connecting part is key to enable an architectural system to sound like a musical instrument.
The design of the connecting part is key to enable an architectural system to sound like a musical instrument.
The latest iteration of the connecting part involves tuning pegs.
The latest iteration of the connecting part involves tuning pegs.
The soundbox was calculated to resonate with the same frequencies as John Hoyland room in Tate Britain, its original exhibition space.
The soundbox was calculated to resonate with the same frequencies as John Hoyland room in Tate Britain, its original exhibition space.
The material of the tubes gives Venus Smiles its unique voice. Further research could focus on testing different metal tubes such as aluminium or steel.
The material of the tubes gives Venus Smiles its unique voice. Further research could focus on testing different metal tubes such as aluminium or steel.
If played and listened carefully, the harmonic relations of the tubes can be explored.
If played and listened carefully, the harmonic relations of the tubes can be explored.
Dance Between Strings
A Sound Sculpture​​​​​​​

The sculpture is a large scale instrument that you can inhabit. The space that moves when you move and that makes sounds to your movements. The instrument enables you to experience and create music through your own movements and learn the principles of sound and improvisation intuitively.  The instrument enables you to create different sonic textural atmospheres to communicate a certain mood, expressed through your movement. 
Back to Top