Sun Boxes: the sound of sunlight

Sound is an intrinsic part of an environment, even if we often don’t notice it. The cars and chatter of the city, the layering of those sounds with birds chirping and trees rustling in an urban park, or the absolute silence in a winter wilderness, make these places what they are as much as other physical features. Craig Colorusso’s mobile Sun Boxes sound installation makes use mindful of that play between the physical and the aural while respecting the environment itself.

What are Sun Boxes? According to Colorusso’s web site,

Sun Boxes are an environment to enter and exit at will. It’s comprised of twenty speakers operating independently, each powered by the sun via solar panels. There is a different loop set to play a guitar note in each box continuously. These guitar notes collectively make a Bb chord. Because the loops are different in length, once the piece begins they continually overlap and the piece slowly evolves over time.

While this sounds like a matter of just setting up speakers and letting them play, the experience is interactive: as Colorusso told the University of West Florida’s Nathan Rousseau Smith a couple of months ago, the sounds created are defined by the environment. The arrangement of the boxes, the presence (or absence) of sunlight, and the shadows casts by visitors, change the sounds and make each visit into the created environment unique.

Take a listen above, and let us know what you think: soothing and interesting, or just kind of artsy fartsy? If you like it, the Sun Boxes do go “on tour”: Colurusso will be taking them to a number of state parks in Vermont later this Summer.

via Root Simple


Image credit: Screen capture from “Sun Boxes at CMKY 2012″ video