Irish art duo, Cleary Connolly and Sample-Studios will collaborate with young musicians from Cork Youth Orchestra to transform The Lord Mayor’s Pavilion in Fitzgerald’s Park into a ‘musical magic lantern’ this winter. The new artwork, called ‘The Music Box’ will use motion tracking technology to track the movements of the musicians as they rehearse. Visible from both interior and exterior, this ground-breaking light and sound installation will turn the young musicians movements into luminous dots that will dance in time to the music that has generated them, describing the musicians movements with loops and whirls.
The artists are fascinated by the movements of musicians as they play their instruments – a rich seam of creative inspiration in their work. They are further inspired by the theories of Dr. Gunnar Johansson, who demonstrated how we can perceive moving human forms from minimal visual information expressed as dots, and have made several artworks exploring the moving body as dots informed by this research. Most recently they were invited by the London Symphony Orchestra to make a work with Sir Simon Rattle, whose movements gave them beautiful material for an installation for the Barbican Foyer. Following this, they developed the idea to make a complete ‘dot orchestra’ studying each instrument in an orchestra individually, so as to compose an orchestra of luminous points including instruments from each family: string, woodwind, brass, percussion and keyboard.
The Cork Youth Orchestra musicians will be filmed rehearsing separately wearing motion tracking sensors, resulting in a study of the musician’s movements reduced to a play of dots – each dot representing a cardinal point of the musician’s body (head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers). Each dot-film will be a study of musical gesture, such as a moving hand, a flexing arm, strumming fingers. A series of these musical dot films will be projected onto rear projection screens stretched inside the windows on every side of The Lord Mayor’s Pavilion so that images and music can be perceived from both inside and out.
As Anne Cleary explains, “The lyrical movements of musicians has been an evolving theme in our work for many years. We have dreamed of composing an entire orchestra just composed of dots to make these movements visible to others. It is such a fabulous opportunity to work with Cork Youth Orchestra this winter to develop this ambitious project”. The project was made possible by the support of Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund, as Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive of Business to Arts commented “We are proud to support Sample-Studios in presenting Cleary Connolly’s ‘The Music Box’ as part of the Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund in partnership with Business to Arts. The Begin Together Arts Fund is a vital source of private sector funding for the arts. The projects funded in round two demonstrate the adaptability and resilience of Ireland’s arts sector. Business to Arts is proud to work in partnership with Bank of Ireland as we progress the fund, reach more communities and help realise quality arts experiences for people across the island of Ireland.”
About the Artists
Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly share their time between Ireland and Paris. Their works revolves around visual perception. How we look at the world and the way we understand it, each of us from our singular perspective, is central to what we are as human beings. Recent exhibition projects include: a project on Art and Neuroscience with David Byrne(New York, 2017); Self Perceptions at the Tate Modern (London, 2018); and a commission from the Barbican Centreexploring movements of conductor Sir Simon Rattle (London, 2018).