The Aeolian Symphony

Max Eastley – Aeolian Circles- Singuhr Gallery

By Nota Tsekoura, on 16th Sep, 2013 14:35

Aeolian Circles - detail | photo Heinrich Hermes


When one is dealing with sound art installations the specificity of the place and space plays an important role. A sound art work is perceived mainly by the ear but the feeling of space can reinforce the acoustical sensations and the intensity of the bodily experience in which you perceive them. Carsten Seiffarth choise of the historical water tank of Prenzlauerberg [the oldest in Berlin, completed in 1877 and in use until 1952] to form the most important sound art Gallery in Europe is not random. The historical, structural and architectural attributes of the space makes it incompatible for a sound art gallery. From 11.07. - 22.09.2013 Singuhr – sound gallery presents a new work by British artist Max Eastley in the Large Water Reservoir: “Aeolian Circles”.


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Outside area over the Gallery  | Photo Space Under


The installations create an architecture of sound within the architecture of brick: an echo of the Greek myth that tells of how Aeolus, God of the Winds, kept the winds in cave.“ (Max Eastley)


If you are Greek or Italian you know the power of Aiolos, as you witness it in its mastery every summer in the islands. The son of Poseidon and Arne, Aiolos, was the keeper of the winds. Only upon the command of Zeus he was able to release them and let them play with the finest “musical instruments” [all natures elements, from trees to water, sand and stones etc.], conducting a majestic symphony. This meeting of myths and nature still inspires poets and musicians around the world making the aeolic phenomena become a part of our Sonic and Literary Culture.

Max Eastley, under his research project Aeolian Sound: An investigation of Aeolian Phenomena and their incorporation into Sonic Culture, tries to bring the Sonic, Cultural and Natural history of Aeolian devices and phenomena together. Later he uses the knowledge gained through this process to inform the creation of new Aeolian devices. In his current exhibition at Singuhr – sound gallery he combines two elements: a series of kinetic objects in the interior of the reservoir and a wind harp in the exterior space. The sounds of the wind harps on the roof of the tower house are transmitted in real-time into the reservoir’s four concentric rings. The brick architecture and the reverberation times that last up to 18 seconds transform the wind-generated sounds into a dense sound texture that seems to move through the rings yet at the same time is contrasted with the concrete sounds of the kinetic objects in the space.


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Aeolian Circles - details | photo : Heinrich Hermes

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Aeolian Circles - Max Eastley | photo : Heinrich Hermes


Visiting and moving inside the tank, passing alternately from the total absence of light to some spot lights under which the kinetic objects are placed, you feel that you intriguer your hearing as your navigating compass through space. Passing again and again from all corridors we tried to form different root each time in order to explore other acoustic sequence which ultimately got us deeper into sound, vision then became almost unnecessary. Before we left the exhibition we wished to extend our stay inside for as long as possible, even if the daylight was calling us outside. The visitor of this exhibition ends up feeling that sound does not surround him anymore but rather he gradually creates a greater relationship with it, almost as if he is part of it. A strong experiential exhibition that is more than worth visiting!