Climate Variations
Date & Time
November 18, 2012, 8pm
Machine Project

An evening of works which utilize extreme temperature differences as a means of sound production by Liam Mooney and Todd Lerew.

The Quartz Cantabile is a new musical instrument that applies a method known to thermoacousticians for converting heat into sound. A ceramic honeycomb material called the stack is placed inside a tube closed on one end. The stack allows air to pass through its many channels, but effectively blocks the heat flow. When extreme heat is applied to the closed end of the tube, the air in this section expands, passing through the stack, where it comes in contact with a relatively cool section of the tube. The air then contracts, pushing back towards the hot end where it again expands. This completes one oscillation, which in succession set up an acoustic standing wave in the tube. The resultant tones are loud and pure—perhaps the purest that can be achieved acoustically.

In Dry Ice and Brass Chimes, performers use small chunks of solid (and very cold) carbon dioxide to gently touch suspended brass chimes. The relative warmth of the chimes transforms some of the carbon dioxide from solid to gas, and it escapes into the surrounding air. As it does this, it puts pressure on the chimes, setting them into motion and creating sound.

Todd Lerew is a composer whose work reflects an interest in the physical properties of sound and objects, as well as the nature of perception.

Liam Mooney is a composer who makes music mostly by misusing familiar objects and materials.