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Invisible [pt1]. Science Museum Dana Centre. London 2007.





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Uploaded on Apr 13, 2008

Invisible is not so much the name of a band as the condition of most of the things and forces that make up our Universe.

Invisible was a multi disciplinary project created in 2007 by artists/musicians Anna Piva and Edward George, who also record for Berlin's Chain Reaction label as Hallucinator.

With Invisible, Piva and George used data evidence of the existence of dark energy as the basis for a sound art installation in the three telescope domes at Cambridge University's Institute of Astronomy, a school workshop in Cambridge, a film and sound art workshop in Stuttgart, and two performances at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre and the Science Museum Dana Centre in London.

The data, taken from a cluster of galaxies by the name of Abell 2029, was given to the artists by astronomer Dr. Carolin Crawford, the project's key collaborator, running the Cambridge school workshops with the artists, as well as giving talks and presentations on the nature of dark energy, the invisible force which is accelerating the speed at which the Universe is expanding.

Piva and George gave the data to a quartet of musicians: trumpet player Jim Dovorak and sax player Harrison Smith, both veterans and shapers of the UK's jazz and improv scene, and to sitarist Raj Virdee and tabla player Sukhdeep Singh, two highly respected Indian classical musicians.

Jim, Harry, Raj, and Sukh developed a series of approaches to engaging with the data. Piva and George used the data to produce a series of electronic soundscapes, and these were the basis for a series of improv recording sessions and rehearsals, bringing these three space themed music traditions - jazz improv, Indian classical, and electronica together for not so much a fusion as a dialogue, a series of improvisations around a common object, data evidence of dark energy.

From these sessions and with these soundscapes, Piva and George created the music for the sound art installations in the Institute of Astronomy's three telescopes, making the final mixes inside the observational domes, and weaving in early morning environmental sounds from the grounds of the Institute. By the way, all three observational domes are fully functioning: the telescopes are used regularly and were only available for five days.

Piva and George also used versions of the soundscapes as reference points for the live performances. Improvising along with Jim, Harry, Sukh and Raj, weaving into the mix fragments from poems written during the Invisible school workshop, and mixing the whole thing in real time old school pre digital dub style, Piva and George brought scientific data evidence of dark energy into dub space.

The visuals for Invisible are generative design artist Adrian Ward's interpretation of the data: sparse, abstract patterns generated by the cluster of galaxies' light emissions appearing from and disappearing into darkness, interacting live with the sounds generated by the musicians

Invisible is the second part of Music & Science Lovers, Piva and George's cross-disciplinary [art/science/sound/education!] project, the first of which was the installation, sound, and text based project, Astro Black Morphologies/Astro Dub Morphologies (2004-05.

Invisible was funded by Arts Council England. Enjoy!

A few useful links


Astro Black Morphologies


Jim Dvorak

Sukhdeep Singh Dhanjal

Harrison Smith

Harmeet [Raju] Singh Virdee

Adrian Ward

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