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“Sphere Packing: Bach” is a 3m diameter sphere made out of aluminium and wood which supports an array of 1,128 loudspeakers each of which plays a different composition by Johann Sebastian Bach. The piece is designed to concentrate Bach’s entire musical production in a dense multi-channel structure that visitors can enter. At any given point, all compositions play-back simultaneously creating a polyvocal and complex sound environment focused in the centre of the sphere; from time to time the speakers are gradually silenced in waves to highlight one speaker playing a single composition. All speakers have a small amber LED light which helps visitors get visual feedback on which speakers are operating. The piece includes a backstage where 11 km of cables connect to a bespoke patchbay controlled by custom software that activates the speakers in sequences of geometrical eclipses.The piece is the culmination of the “Sphere Packing” series of sound sculptures that Rafael Lozano-Hemmer has been making since 2013. The fact that Bach was the most prolific of the 17 composers in the series, called for a room-like immersive environment instead of a sculpture. As a master of counterpoint, layering Bach’s compositions, yields a particularly interesting experiment in musical turbulence.

Official site: http://lozano-hemmer.com/sphere_packing_bach.php

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