TIME DROPS is an attempt to express such ideas as eternity, infinity, and cosmic equilibrium in an embodied form. It is based on two hypotheses: a single stroke of a bell, as it fades, can evoke a sense of infinity in our mind; an impulse creates a universe when it returns to the original state of stillness. The project was realised in two formats: installation of sound and light, and electro-acoustic music.
The CD version of TIME DROPS was produced at composer’s home studio using Macintosh Computer and various audio software. In order to gasp cosmic eternity, attention was paid to the behaviours of small transient sounds-the very opposite to the concept of eternity and yet considered to be the continual process in eternity. Strokes of Tibetan bells marimba etc. were collected and harmonically modified to form various short sound objects. They are then carefully disposed within given frame of time and space. Special attention was paid to the subtle change of timbre and pitch relationship in order to create consistent musical structure and sonic behaviour.
Installation of Sound and Light
The installation version was created in collaboration with light artist Jude James. It was first exhibited at Ally Gallery in London in 2000. Sound and light are considered as physical entities through which time and space are divided and redefined. The concept of multi-dimensionality which the installation reflects, is enhanced by the inclusion of a minimal object, a marble egg sculpture (by James), as the physically intensive focal point in the space surrounded by membrane-like walls.
A Place for Contemplation
Despite its conceptual nature, TIME DROPS is experienced through perception, by the senses, and not through intellect. It aims to create a special place for contemplation for each individual regardless hls/her source of origin. The very reason why electro-acoustic sound and light were chosen as the media, was because they can communicate directly. Another advantage of electro-acoustic manipulation is that the composer can characterise the sound so that the sound becomes an independent being existing in the space, drawing no attention to how and by whom it is executed. Like rain drops making rings in water, the sound generates rings of oscillation in accord with the light. As each sound appears and disappears, the perpetual process of creation and decline in the cosmic equilibrium can be experienced. All you need is a tiny drop of spontaneous imagination.
- Akemi lshijima is Japanese composer based in London. Her work includes sound installation, music for contemporary dance as well as concert music, and has been performed and broadcast internationally. She has received prizes in various international competitions such as Luigi Russolo (Italy) Bourges (France), Golden Antena (Bulgaria) and Ars Electronics (Austria) Her work has been selected and presented at ISEA94 (Helsinki) and ISEA97 (Chicago).