Project:

Speaking Tubes

A sculptural sound installation

  • Spea
  • Image for Penny Cunningham
  • Image for Speaking Tubes
  • Image for Speaking Tubes: New Commissions
  • Spea
  • Image for Penny Cunningham
  • Image for Speaking Tubes
  • Image for Speaking Tubes: New Commissions

Speaking Tubes is a sculptural sound installation inspired by the extraordinary sound of vortex rings travelling through the atmosphere at supersonic speed. This gleaming steel sculpture, is made of large air-ducting tubes and giant cones that emit a chorus of soundscapes into special listening zones. It is a unique way to experience sound as it travels through space. Audiences are encouraged to navigate the space and explore the movement of sound.The first work commissioned to be played on Speaking Tubes was 'Shooting at Clouds' by international award winning composer Yannis Kyriakides. His work was inspired by the sound of spoken Vortex equations.The original concept was devised and designed by David Wheeler and developed with award-winning composer Yannis Kiriakadies. It was first presented at Junction Goole in September 2012.

A Vortex Ring is a doughnut shaped ring of spinning matter (a liquid or gas). Examples are found in various settings including blood vessels, rivers, cloud bursts and volcanoes. Another example is a smoke ring.The sound that triggered the Speaking Tubes project was made by a four metre long vortex cannon. TO produce the Vortex sound an explosion chamber at the narrow end of the cone shaped cannon is filled with acetylene gas. When ignited, this creates a supersonic pulse of gas and air that forms a vortex ring.This ring of spinning gas and air is very stable and can travel thousands of feet into the sky. A characteristic of a supersonic vortex ring is the extraordinary sound it produces. It can be heard rising in pitch through its vertical flight - the sound fading away as it reaches thinner air.

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