Rúry (“tubes”) was site-specific composition for set of ventilation tubes in front of “Tržnica”, legendary marketplace in Bratislava, Slovakia. It was done as part of “Site Specific Resonances” series.
It was initiated by me, as a response to the call for works by festival “Tutti Frutti”. I have a long relationship with the place, and I see the ventilation tubes as very essential part of the architecture, so the idea to use them for my work was already somewhere in the back of my head.
After receiving necessary permits, I have been doing tests with the tubes, after which I have decided to use tactile transducers (as with other installations in Gemak in The Hague or at Prádelna in Prague). These allowed me to turn the tubes into a set of speakers with very specific acoustic properties. Every sound played through acquires special metallic character, based on resonant frequencies of the tubes and the material they are built from.
My composition was based around using these “flaws” as qualities. It contained plenty of frequencies which were actually resonant naturally - therefore they sounded amplified by the whole structure. I quite enjoy this method, because there is only a little amount of energy required to excite the material for impressive results. The sound then seems to be in synchronization with the object, in sort of physico-acoustical harmony.
In the end I have built a 3 channel amplifier box, using my “Pocket Amp” project. Together with multi-channel sound card, this has allowed me to have 3 separate audio channels, for 3 separate tubes, which turned out to be very useful for creating spatial positioning of sounds and various psychoacoustic effects.
The composition was presented as a performance, where I was controlling various aspects of the sounds directly at the spot – sitting in front of the tubes. It was written and controlled in Max/MSP.
I consider the project a huge success, it had plenty of visitors (of all ages) and good response in media (SME, Pravda, Týždeň). It has been premiered on 28th of May, 2014, and was repeated once on 5th of June, 2014. Planned third repetition was cancelled due to unfortunate weather.