York invention allows anyone to create music from thin air

31 Jul 2014 @ 11.17 am
| News

Andrew Leigh introduces the Theremin Bollard, a remarkable interactive instrument coming to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park this weekend

Sound from space… trying out the Theremin Bollard

David Young is a musician and technologist, and brought both these passions together when he formed his company Digital Sun Media in 2010.

Dedicated to the development of an interactive sound sculpture accessible to all, David designed the Digital Earth Theremin Bollard.

A fantastically innovative experience for improvisational performance and designed for multiple creative uses, these amazingly inspiring instruments produce a rich tapestry of expressive sounds in public spaces.

David, a York St John University lecturer, composer, sound designer and community musician, first imagined the Theremin Bollards as part of his work on his MA Composition Degree.

Theremin Bollards are designed for making music without any need for technical skill or personal ability. They are interactive sound sculptures which detect movement, resulting in the creation of music.

To make music, you need not touch the sculptures; simply move around them, creating music through motion. Not only can David’s concept be used as a fun tool for making music, it is an innovative project with vast educational and learning benefits.

Bypassing skill elements allows people to tap directly into skills such as communication, listening, confidence and empathy; all of which considered to be culturally enriching qualities.

The unique omni-directional speaker bollards are not just sensory in terms of sound; they also can be felt due to the vibrations they give off.

As a result of this and through other research, it has been shown that interacting with the Theremin Bollards denotes positive changes in behaviour, and provides a base for the ability for these pieces to be used as a tool in art therapy.

Theremin Bollards have already made an appearance at the National History Museum, London, and are now on their way back to York.

From Friday, August 1 – Sunday, August 3, David will be at Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s Bothy Gallery.

Visitors will have the opportunity to see how to play these instruments and have a go themselves, as well as meeting David and finding out more about his work.

Not only will visitors have the chance to see David’s work, they will also be treated to a day of live music, with performances from Vanessa Simmons, Kris Klavenes and Dub Barn Collective.