Gravity is normally only visible in the ebb and flow of tides. Seawater is continuously exposed to the gravitational force of the moon and the sun, and to centrifugal force owing to the earth's rotation. Tide is a sound sculpture that makes these fluctuations in gravity audible. The installation consists of three water-filled glass globes on stands. Tiny changes in gravity measured on the spot cause the water in the globes to rise or fall. When they are rubbed, they produce a sound akin to that of singing wine glasses: we hear gravity, the variable tide and the interplay between planetary systems.
These sensitive sculptures make audible the invisible force fields between earth, moon and sun. A gravity meter pointed at the center of the earth gauges precisely the gravitational force of the moon and sun in relation to the earth. This information is meticulously analyzed and variations in gravity are calculated. The result is sent directly to the three mechanically steered, rotating glass globes. The smallest fluctuation in gravity makes the water level in the globes rise or fall. Because the globes are turning on their stands, the movement of the water creates a resonant sound whose frequency varies according to whether the water in the globes is rising or falling.
During the day, changing gravity causes the sound sculptures to continually change in pitch. But once a day, at precisely the moment of transition from high to low tide (and vice versa), the globes come into harmony. At the magic moment, when the globes are closest to and furthest from the moon, Tide feeds back in an even rhythm. The planetary system of gravitational fields briefly finds a delicate equilibrium and creates a combined spherical sound play.
Commissioned by DA2
Tide by Luke Jerram (DEAF04) from V2_ on Vimeo.