Sound Modulated Light #1 by Edwin van der Heide

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Sound Modulated Light #1 is an environment of light and sound. The sound is not present acoustically but is radiated by lights. The space consists of an arrangement of multiple lights, and these are the carriers of sound. Every light source is both part of the light design and part of the sound design. The sound is modulated on top of the light by means of intensity modulation. The lights flicker, but at a rate that is not perceivable by the human eye.

Visitors of the installation are given a special handheld device which makes the modulated light audible as sound in a headphone – rather than a radio receiver, it could be called a light receiver. The balance between the different sounds depends on the light falling on the receiver. By moving the receiver through the space, different combinations of lights can be sensed. The sound changes according visitors’ movements because every light is radiating a different sound. The space itself changes dynamically over time. The light composition constantly changes, and so too the interrelated sound composition.

In 2000 Edwin van der Heide realised the first version of Radioscape. There are certain similarities between Sound Modulated Light and Radioscape, but Radioscape is designed for a public space and doesn't use light as part of its operation, even though it inspired the first experiments for Sound Modulated Light. This installation was co-produced with Argos (for the Argos festival 2003) and was supported by the Flemish Ministry of Culture.