Harmonic Fugue is an interactive sound and light environment conceived as a place to experience creativity – not just by looking at or walking around an artwork, but by actually walking into and through it, an “immersive experience”. Designed by artist/composer/architect Christopher Janney as part of his “Urban Musical Instrument” series, the artwork consists of a series of interactive “touch” sensors, audio speakers and coloured LED lights. As one reaches up and waves a hand in front of one of the “white dots,” both an LED light and an ever-changing soundscore from the audio speakers is triggered. Conceived as a site specific work for Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas, the score is composed of a palette of melodic instruments and environmental sounds indigenous to Arkansas including the song of a Mocking bird and the Honeybee. All the sounds are pitched according to certain laws of harmony so that no matter what is played, the sounds in each tunnel play in concert with one another.
Also designed into the artwork is a RIDDLE, adding an additional experience for the returning participant. Placed somewhere in the tunnel is a text etched on a plaque. If a participant deciphers the riddle and “plays” the sensors in the order denoted by the puzzle, the piece will respond with a special “dance” of its own!
“It is the role of ‘Harmonic Fugue’ to make this passageway not just a transition space, but a destination place for creative play at all hours of the day and night, that speaks to the social interaction of public spaces and to the open classroom.” Christopher Janney
Image: Christopher Janney, Harmonic Fugue. ©2011 PhenomenArts, Inc.,