The Cathedra 900 audio / visual installation 15th – 19th April 2013

Steve Brown: Over the past few years Steven Brown generously offered his time and incredible creative experience to a variety of Mark Ware’s projects, including Cathedra 900.  Sadly Steve Brown died on 7th July 2013, following a short period of ill-health.  Despite his condition at the time, Steve continued to support Mark, offering advice in the build-up to the April 2013 Cathedra 900 sound installation.  ‘Steve was a great friend and an amazing creative sound artist.  He was an inspiration to many people including myself, and his impact as an artist and a person resonated worldwide.’  To read about Steve’s creative sound design work, please visit: www.listenhear.co.uk

Thank you to everyone who visited the Cathedra 900 audio / visual installation at Exeter Cathedral Chapter House, 15th – 19th April 2013.  Visitor numbers reached just over 500 and feedback was very positive.  The installation ran for approximately ½ hour and was looped throughout the day.  Visitors were encouraged to sit for however long they wanted to.  It was pleasing to see that many people sat to experience the installation for more than ½ hour.

900 Years of Light image

The installation consisted of an 8 audio channels of sounds, and a selection of 300 Cathedra 900 images displayed on a TV monitor.  The 300 images were taken from Mark Ware’s video composition entitled, ‘900 Hundred Years of Light’ that is currently under production, to be completed for screening as part of his live multimedia event that will be performed at the cathedral on 2nd, 3rd and 4th October 2013. Mark has photographed many images of Exeter Cathedral over the past 12 months and they include close ups of features and details not easily seen by the naked eye.

The 300 images were accompanied by an eight-channel sound installation featuring a selection of natural sounds. These were sounds that have been in existence for the past 900 years (the approximate age of Exeter Cathedral). The natural sounds included sounds of the sea, trees, animals, birds and the wind.  The only man-made sound was a recording of the cathedral’s north tower bell, that regularly punctuated the natural sound sequences.

Chapter House ceiling

The Chapter House proved to be a perfect location for the audio / visual installation because of its remarkable acoustics.

The use of natural sounds stems from Mark’s ongoing work in this field.  Later this year he will begin working on an art / science project in collaboration with a neuroscientist, exploring how natural sounds affect the brain (details to be announced late summer 2013). It is hoped that the outcome of this art / science collaboration will be of benefit to people will brain injury.

The time structure of the natural sounds played back in the Cathedra 900 installation were based on the Fibonacci number sequence (the numbers 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89 and 144). The Fibonacci number sequence and the Golden Ratio proportions are found in many examples of art and architecture, including cathedrals.

CEDA at the sound installationVisitors from CEDA

Included in the list of visitors to the audio visual installation was a group from CEDA. This followed CEDA’s involvement in the Cathedra 900 creative workshops that took place in March 2013.  CEDA is a registered charity, based in a purpose adapted building on the outskirts of Exeter providing support services to disabled people with a focus on independence and empowerment.  To read about this charity’s fantastic work, please visit: www.cedaonline.org.uk

Mark would like to thank Mike Daniell at Show Cue Systems for his generous support. The Cathedra 900 audio / visual multi-channel sound installation uses Show Cue System software for the assembling, editing and playing back of sound files. Mark has regularly used Show Cue System in sound events over recent years, including on his ‘Sound Posts’ projects.  For information on Show Cue System please visit: www.showcuesystems.com

Although Mark Ware’s Cathedra 900 audio / visual installation uses many sounds recorded by him, it also features sounds downloaded from Freesound (www.freesound.org). For the full list of sounds downloaded from Freesound, go to:

http://www.freesound.org/people/cathedra900/downloaded_sounds/

Finally, Mark would like to thank Exeter Cathedral for its ongoing wonderful support of Cathedra 900

For information about Exeter Cathedral, please visit: www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk

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