“Soon after dawn on this coming Friday, the sun will rise over Plymouth and the university’s Roland Levinsky Building will get down with its good self. It will play the Sunlight Symphony. Actually, that’s not quite right. The building won’t be playing the symphony; dawn’s rosy fingers will. But they will be playing it on the building, the angular, glassy surfaces of which will be to its rosy fingers as a violin is to a bow. Kind of. Nor do the fingers have to be rosy – they can be any colour they like. The important thing is the presence of light and the atmospheric conditions which affect light.” Independent on Sunday
“At first, there were soft, little twinkly sounds as the light increased – you could see the sun emerging on a big screen on the wall. Within 10 minutes, the sound was filling the foyer and after 30 minutes, the symphony reached a crescendo, with Alexis sitting at his laptop in the middle of the foyer, tweaking things for all he was worth. ‘The sensors on the windows are driving these knobs on the computer here,’ he explained to his audience. ‘And the knobs are controlling the audio here.’…The small gathering of people who had got up before dawn to witness it listened intently before breaking into spontaneous applause as the crescendo subsided. ‘Oh, it’s beautiful,’ said one of the audience, Judy Willis, who is a member of the university choir.” BBC Devon
Originated by Alexis Kirke. Co-created by Alexis Kirke and Tim Hodgson. Commissioned by and premiered at Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival 2010. Supported by Plymouth University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research.
Interview on BBC Radio Devon:
(One of the 4 light sensors used to “play the building”)