Robert Henke’s Music For Balloons

This video captures one performance of Atom – which features a matrix of 64 gas balloons, lights, and sound by Christopher Bauder & Robert Henke (aka Monolake).

A room is filled with deep, evolving noises from a four-channel sound system. An eight-by-eight array of white, self-illuminated spheres floats in space like the atoms of a complex molecule.

Through variable positioning and illumination of each atom, a dynamic display sculpture comes into being, composed of physical objects, patterns of light, and synchronous rhythmic and textural sonic events. Change, sound, and movement converge into a larger form.

The height of the helium balloons is adjusted with a computer-controlled cable, whilst the internal illumination is accomplished using dimmable super-bright LEDs, creating a pixel in a warped 8×8 spatial matrix.

The sonic events, the patterns of light, and the movement of the balloons are manipulated in real time as a 45-60 minute-long performance.

Here’s another take on the piece:


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