High Spheres

  • Marco Donnarumma - High Spheres - Pedvale Museum, Riga, Latvia 2007
  • Marco Donnarumma - High Spheres - Pedvale Museum, Riga, Latvia 2007
  • Marco Donnarumma - High Spheres - Pedvale Museum, Riga, Latvia 2007

High Spheres (2007-2010) is a participative action inspired by the concept of the Harmony of the high spheres, studied and discussed by John Cage. The composer explains the existence of a music living inside the world itself, all Nature’s creatures and inanimate objects carry this music within themselves. Humans often try to imitate it when they should simply catch it and let it sounds. This music is the sound of the world, it is our most ancient sonic experience.

The action takes place open air. No musical instruments are provided, but stones and leaves. Audience can use multiple microphones to amplify any kind of sound they wish to produce (i.e. voice noises, manipulating leaves, rubbing stones, etc.). Participation to the action is not scheduled so everyone can join the group during the execution. The whole sonic matter is managed by a self-designed software for generative music creation, which interacts with the audience processing in real-time the sounds they produce. When someone leaves the concert area the sound he produced keeps flowing through the surround system, merging and mutating within the collective sonic fluxus.

The software generates ever changing parameters for the reproduction and manipulation of the incoming audio signals, creating an endless sonic data flow which, once started, will live and grow beyond the time-space of the action.
During this ritual the audience creates a self-organizing orchestra composing a unique piece of music, something not repeatable and ever changing. Generative electroacoustic music for non-musicians.

Photos courtesy of Krists Krigers.

Below you can listen to an excerpt of the “High Spheres” session organized for the opening of Re-New Festival for Digital Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark, May 2010.
High-Spheres – Participatory Soundscape Concert 2010 by Marco Donnarumma

Project Keywords

High spheres, John Cage, nature, indeterminism, indeterminacy, ritual, participatory, collective, open air; chance music, soundscape, silence, stones, leaves, organic, generative, noise, ambient; performance, generative, non-linear composition, real-time physical interaction, audio real-time processing; sound objects, physical computing, pure data.

Selected exhibition

  • Re-New Digital Arts Festival, Opening concert, Huset i Magstræde, Copenhagen, Denmark, May 2010
  • Pedvale Open Air National Museum, Seasonal closing ceremony, Pedvale, Latvia, November 2007