22. Apr 2015

An interactive light and sound sculpture

Sculpture: Penda
Photos: Xia Zhi

“Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music”: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

It was this quote that inspired the architects from Penda to create The Soundwave sculpture for Myrtle Tree Garden Park in Xiangyang/RC. The sculpture consists of more than 500 perforated purple pillars of varying heights with integral LED strips, which are intended to represent the rising and falling bars of a digital sound visualiser that synchronises with crescendos and diminuendos in music. The message is one of a pulsating city that lives with the rhythm of music (sound waves). The colour was inspired by the over 1000-year-old myrtle trees and their purple blossoms. Set in a designed water feature, the sculpture forms the entrance to the park. Like many other public spaces The Soundwave plaza is used by locals as a place for social gatherings and dance performances.

The fins are clad in sheets of perforated stainless steel in four shades of purple, representing the different shades of purple found in the flowering trees. The LED strips are mounted behind the stainless steel panels. Speakers installed in some of the square-sectioned shafts play traditional Chinese music. The luminous intensity and the volume of the music are controlled by motion sensors located around the site and activated by the movements of passers-by.

Viewed from a distance, The Soundwave gives the impression of an exciting micrometropolis. The sculpture is designed to allow the city and the landscape to melt one into the other.


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