Ask most musicians what they mean when they talk about wind instruments and they are likely to launch into a spiel about brass and woodwind, reeds and tubes. However, ask French composer Pierre Sauvageot his definition and you’re likely to receive a slightly different response.
Sauvageot, along with French group Lieux Publics, is the mastermind behind Harmonic Fields near Ulverston. Forming part of the Lakes Alive arts festival, the installation is made up of five hundred conventional and makeshift musical instruments, powered only by the wind.
Billed as an “interactive musical landscape”, the sound made by the instruments varies according to the wind strength and direction.
The public are free to wander among them until Sunday night and interact with the fixture as the wind blows through them.
Sauvageot said: “The wind blows through the instruments and creates the sounds. People will go on a musical journey and learn about 26 different types of wind – one for each letter of the alphabet.
“In my opinion, it will be best around 6pm as the sun is setting, but I urge people to come down more than once and experience Harmonic Fields at different times of the day.”
More than 20 different types of instruments, including metal and wood cellos, strings, flutes, Balinese scarecrows, sirens, gongs, harps and bamboo organs, have been organised into sections named after different types of winds from around the world.
“It is different when the wind is strong to when there is no wind,” Mr Sauvageot told the North-West Evening Mail. “When it is calm, you are hearing the landscape.
“For me, as a composer, the sound is more important than the visual … I want people to listen and have that as a memory.
“I think people need to have a new relationship with the landscape and artists are leading the way.”
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