The complete sound art work Poème d’espace of 20:25 minutes duration, created by composer and sound artist Silvia Simons for Leibniz' Harmonien 2016 was premiered on 21 May 2016 in a radio broadcast by
hr2 kultur (Hessischer Rundfunk) on ‘Artist’s Corner’.
The work won 1st prize ex aequo in the category ‘Radiophone Komposition / Klangkunst’ of the international competition.
The prize winning works of this category - or esp. modified, shortened versions thereof - will feature in following concert on 19 August 2016 at 10.30 pm in Hannover, Germany:
Leibniz' Harmonien - in the concert series Leibniz Under Ground held from 18 - 21 August 2016.
Poème d'espace utilizes as its only sound source the electromagnetic or radio waves, which naturally occur in the earth's magnetosphere, ionosphere and atmosphere. They can be heard by the human ear when converted into acoustic waves with the necessary technical equipment. The composer was able to download this 'raw' audio data by courtesy of CARISMA (Canadian Array for Realtime Investigations of Magnetic Activity), operated by the University of Alberta, funded by the Canadian Space Agency. Physicists have named the sounds according to their sonic characteristics "tweeks", "hiss", "dawn chorus", "sferics" and “whistlers". The composer left some of these sounds in their original state and processed/manipulated others to various degrees, but taking care in trying to enhance or bring to the forefront what is already inherently present in the natural sounds, rather than imposing 'foreign elements'.
One aim of Poème d'espace is to to bridge the gap between science/nature and art/music. The 'space sounds' used to create this sound art work seem to be a musical, i.e. audible, illustration of (as per Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) the Leibniz notion of pre-established harmony in the whole of God's creation.
"Wenn Gott rechnet, und seinen Gedanken ausführt, entsteht die Welt."
(When God calculates, and carries out his thoughts, the world is created.)
"Es ist durchaus möglich, daß es irgendwo Lebewesen gibt, die mehr musikalische Sensibilität haben als wir und die sich an musikalischen Proportionen erfreuen, von denen wir weniger berührt werden. ..."
(It is quite possible, that somewhere there exist living beings who have more musical sensibility than we do and who delight in musical proportions, of which we are less affected…)
The composer gratefully acknowledges the City of Hannover, hr2 kultur, musik für heute ev and all the other important partners and sponsors who made this competition possible:
Palmer Station, Antarctica
(by the Stanford VLF group)
For music sample please go to: https://www.silviasimons.com/music