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Levitating Sound Sculpture Plays Haunting Hymn In A French Chapel [Video]

Levitating Sound Sculpture Plays Haunting Hymn In A French Chapel [Video]
culture

An installation of 300 wires move on a four-note scale to create a melody dedicated to a place once dedicated to faith.

Yi Chen
  • 25 may 2012


Artist David Letellier has installed a large levitation sculpture, Caten, in the Saint Sauveur chapel in Caen, France. Caten is an installation of 300 fine wires suspended from one end of the building to the other, its hanging shape determined by gravity. The installation is connected to a slowly rotating arm controlled by four motors; with each turn, the sculpture emits a different note on a four-note scale that was inspired by ‘medieval solmisation prayers,’ notably the first verse of ‘Ut Queant Laxis,’ a hymn from the eleventh century. The result is an eery, haunting melody that ’emphazise[s] the transcendental character of a place once dedicated to faith.’

Letellier drew inspiration for the sculpture’s design and sound from the architecture and atmosphere of the chapel; the name Caten is derived from the term catenary, which ‘describes the plane curve formed by a rope hanging between two points.’

Watch a video of the sculpture below:

David Letellier

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