Aquaeolian Whirlpool

Gordon Monahan

1990, 05:00 minutes, colour, English


This piece demonstrates that liquid can substitute for air as a medium for the generation and transmission of musical sound. A ten foot high vortex of water is pumped around one hundred foot long piano wires that rise vertically to a suspended soundboard and amplifying system. The swirling vortex, which looks like a tornado, generates intense aquaeolian tones in the piano wires. Detailed slow motion close-ups of the tornado-water vortex accompanied by the aquaeolian sounds, are juxtaposed with shots of the sculpture's water-pumping and audio systems to provide a provocative documentary of this large-scale sound installation by Gordon Monahan. This tape was shot in the former Space Pavillion of the 1964 World's Fair, now The New York Hall of Science.

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