In the middle of the 19th century, Helmholtz scientifically demonstrated the existence of harmonics (although it had been known intuitively ever since the days of Rameau) thereby formalising what is known as the classical theory of timbre. According to this theory, the timbre of a sound is determined by its harmonics. The harmonics are a succession of pure sounds of which the frequencies are multiples of a base note known as the fundamental note. Their interplay with the various intensities and volume of the harmonics give the timbre.
Independent Frequencies is an audiovisual generative installation based on these principles. The sounds emitted by the installation are the result of the variation of the volume of 18 natural harmonics layered one on top of the other, and represented by the 18 circular columns. A pure sound is in fact associated with each column, the frequency of which is a multiple of the frequency of three fundamental notes that change cyclically. On each column, the frequency associated in that moment (white number) is visualised, together with its volume (red number).The columns with a red background are those representing the fundamental notes, which form the basis of the chords on which each set of harmonics is based.
Other sounds are generated cyclically with given rhythms that increase and decrease in intensity over time. The installation allows us to move the sound 360° around the onlooker, and the origin of every sound is shown with a different visual effect on the columns placed in the direction of each single sound.
MEDIAgarden is an installation placed in the two gardens of the head offices of Unipol in Bologna in via Stalingrado, comprising 41 columns with high luminosity RGB LEDs. The centre of the installation lies in Piazza Vieira De Mello in Bologna, where the light columns are laid out in a circle, thus surrounding the onlooker. MEDIAgarden is part of the CUBO project created by FUSE*ARCHITECTURE.