Felix Hess - Light as Air Book+CD 27965

Felix Hess - Light as Air Book+CD 27965
Hardcover, with audio-CD, 16 x 24 cm, 128 pages, 14 color and 28 b/w illustrations, bilingual English / German

Included in the book is the CD "Luftdruckschwankungen" (Air Pressure Fluctuations).

"Here is a CD containing a recording of air pressure fluctuations. When played on ordinary audio equipment, the recorded air pressure fluctuations (technically named infrasound) are reproduced at 360 times the original speed, and thus can be perceived by our ears as sounds. This means that one second of sound on the CD reproduces six minutes of original time, and the four minutes on the CD correspond to one day-and-night. It also means that the audible frequency range between 18 Hz and 18000 Hz originally was between 0.05 Hz and 50 Hz. Almost everything to be heard on this CD was inaudible, literally unheard of, in real time, because it was too low for our ears. Our sense of direction in hearing depends on the small time differences between the arrivals of sounds in both ears. To obtain the correct time differences for a realistic stereo effect the microphones were placed 360 times as far apart as our ears are, at 64 meters. The CD accurately reproduces air pressure fluctuations which originally were in the range between 0.03 Hz and 56 Hz. What do they sound like now? "

Dutch sound artist born in 1941 in The Hague and now living and working in Groningen (Haren). He was originally a nuclear physicist and started making electronic sound devices in the 1980’s.

"I am not investigating in the objective world, I am investigating sensitivity." This quotation of sound artist Felix Hess reveals a lot about his works of art: In his fragile-looking objects and installations he constructs detectors to register sound waves which we cannot perceive because they lie outside our range of hearing. How light changes into sound is just one of the questions the artist deals with in his art works. In another case, the calls of frogs in Australia, Mexico and Japan inspired him to use electronic components to construct devices simulating the communication behavior of living systems. In tracing the paths of previously unrecognized sound phenomena and transforming them into comprehensible codes for us, Hess remarkably extends our encountering of reality.