Gamelatron Sanctuary: Suara Sinar (The Sound of Light)
is a site-specific installation that transforms a vast, windowless, abandoned warehouse on the Peekskill, New York waterfront into a sanctuary of light and sound. In the middle of a pitchdark 10,000 square-foot space, there is an oasis of couches, pillows and rugs. Spiraling out from the oasis in concentric circles stretching across the entire space are instruments from a Balinese Gamelan orchestra retrofitted with mechanical mallets mounted to the ceiling trusses. Twenty four bronze kettle-shaped gongs called Reyong and Trompong, four hanging gongs ranging in size from 23 to 35 inches in diameter, four pairs of nine-inch bronze hand cymbals (Kopyak), and two dragon turtles with eight four-inch hand cymbals (Ceng-Ceng) robotically play day-long sequences of music composed specifically to allow the entire warehouse to function as a resonating chamber. With each sound, a pulsation of light bursts from the instrument and fades as the tone diminishes, briefly illuminating a spot in the vastness. Movements of music become a choreographed panoramic dance of light.
Suara Sinar is a refuge, it is a universe unto itself; it is an offering, a respite, an escape and a confrontation.
– Aaron Taylor Kuffner
2014 Exhibit. Video by Caryn Waechter
Aaron Taylor Kuffner
The Gamelatron Project is the marriage of Indonesian sonic and ritual tradition with modern robotics. A Gamelatron is a sound-producing kinetic sculpture featuring instruments from Balinese and Javanese gamelan orchestras, retrofitted with mechanical mallets on sculptural mounts strategically arranged into standalone artworks and immersive installations. MIDI sequences control up to 100 robotic striking mechanisms that produce intricately woven melodic and rhythmic sound. The Gamelatron Project’s mission is to innovatively bring the legacy and creative cultural power of gamelan to new shores, new people and communities, and create a context for it to become a resource for people’s lives. Learn more at gamelatron.com
Aaron Taylor Kuffner, Co-Creator and Artistic Director of The Gamelatron Project, is a conceptual artist, sculptor, and composer. His pieces often take the form of longterm multi-year projects that involve in-depth research, collaboration with field experts, and development of specialized skill sets. Each project is uniquely attached to the idea of providing conceptual tools that further the evolution of consciousness through experiences of beauty and the sublime. In doing so he reaches far outside of conventions, pushing the role of art to be a form of service to society. Through his work Kuffner has become a noted composer, kinetic sculptor, electronic music maverick, a machinist, installation artist, ad-hoc engineer, and an ambassador of Indonesian culture. He has performed or presented work more than 400 times in 19 countries in the last 15 years. Learn more at aarontaylorkuffner.com
Site: 150 North Water Street, Peekskill, NY
Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art
Hours: The Artwork may be experienced at any time that the museum is open.
Open hours of the museum are: Friday 11:00am – 5:00pm Saturday and Sunday 12:00pm – 6:00pm and Tuesday-Thursday by appointment. For access to the Artwork at any time, you can call the main number 914.788.0100 in advance or upon arrival at 150 North Water Street.
2014 Installation and Interview. Video by Caryn Waechter.