Portal (2015)

Site specific installation, 3 Motorized LED Lights, 8 Speakers, Subwoofer, Custom Software,4 Paintings (Oil, acrylic and gold leaf on panel, 60" x 60")


Commissioned by University of Pittsburgh Art Gallery


Light: Aaron Henderson
Painting: Michael Morrill
Sound: Mathew Rosenblum

The sound component of “Portal” is delivered through eight speakers placed in the corners of the octagonal gallery space. The processed sounds and shifting textures, some of which were created with a Japanese temple bowl, respond to the changing natural and projected light as it moves unpredictably across the walls and floor, creating an aura that encourages contemplation.

Traces of organ sounds are embedded in the texture as a memory of the original function of the space, which once housed the Frick family organ. A brief sample from one of Henry Clay Frick’s favorite organ tunes, Moonlight and Roses, makes a cameo appearance.
Elements from the surrounding soundscapes are brought into the rotunda including the water fountain and birds in the building’s open courtyard, the Mary Schenley Memorial Fountain outside the building’s front door, as well as the crunching of autumn leaves that surround and lead into the building.

As a result, a subtle sonic repurposing of the space is achieved from that of a sheer resonant sonic chamber, to an organ room, to a reflector of soundprints that surround and lead into the rotunda space.

Frick Fine ArtsArt Gallery, University of Pittsburgh

World Premiere
September 10, 2015


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