[ISEA2002] Artist Statement: Tomoo Shimomura – Network Planet Ensemble: Johannes Kepler “Harmonice Mundi”

Artist Statement

The work, entitled “Network Planet Ensemble”, is an interactive multi user virtual 3D world on the Internet which bases on “Music of Planets (Harmonice Mundi)” by Johannes Kepler. Viewers can transform themselves into asteroid avatars, move in the space freely and play an ensemble together, listening to his music. A viewer might meet other asteroid avatars (other viewers). Then, all the viewers who do not even know their names become planets of the solar system and play the unexpected ensemble. This work bases on Kepler’s idea that he adapted the construction of the universe into the musical scale in order to demonstrate the harmony of the world (“Harmonice Mundi”). It likens Internet to the vast universal space and disposes client computers connected to the server computer as an asteroid at the virtual universe.

Music of planets (“Harmonice Mundi”)
Kepler was trying to find common rules between music and planet’s movement. His harmony of the spheres is based on the relative maximum and minimum angular velocities of the planet measured from the sun. It is not a music scale in the strict sense of the word since the sound is continuously changing like choking or sliding. As the planets move in their orbits their velocity is lowest when farthest from the sun and highest when nearest to it. The increase and decrease of speed correspond to the rise and fall of sound that planets produce. The range of sound that the Venus can produce is very small, since its orbit is almost a perfect circle. In such a manner, Kepler allotted to the planets the musical Intervals. The six planets produce six notes and at the most time, they create dissonant. However, they can be consonant at some point within a long time. Kepler called this “music of planets.” The music encyclopedia “Grove” says that it may have happened only ones, perhaps at the time of creation. We can listen to this harmony if we make time go faster. The interval between the earth and the Venus makes a consonant, so Kepler thought these planes were a husband and a wife.

  • Tomoo Shimomura
    Born in 1969 Osaka, JAPAN
    1993.04 – 1997.10 NiPPON STEEL Information & Communication Systems Inc.
    1998.04 – 1999.03 lnter Medium Institute Graduate School: SOUND DESIGN course
    2001.04 – 2002.03 lnter Medium lnstitute Graduate School: Lecturer of NETWORK DESIGN course
    VRML-ART Expo 1999/2000 in Germany and USA
    The European Media Art Festival ’99 in Osnabrueck, Germany
    the 14th Stuttgarter Filmwinter in Stuttgart, Germany
    Medimerra-01 Festival” in Lavrio, Belgrade, Maribor and Frankfurt
    Web3D Art 2002″ at ICA in London