Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuning the Foghorns





Just before my departure to Helsinki for our duo exhibition with Sabrina Harri (named HALO), we met in Citadelpark (Gent) with composer Thomas Smetryns, who lives in the neighborhood and to whom I asked for some help with tuning the foghorns.
I'd figured out earlier that these horns were actually possible to tune by carefully folding the small tab in the spout. Proceeding this way, we have then tried out several combinations of notes in order to create different intervals. But having blown a few times, we've realized that the horns had a tendency to tune down very quickly, what actually makes the use of a tritone anecdotal and not very interesting nor relevant in reality.  

So I made the decision that I will tune the horns myself intuitively, simply by making them sounding together in a way I like. I'll have to figure out how it will sound whithin it's increasingly detuning.

As the performance should last twenty minutes at least, it may well be that the notes will be changing dramatically randomly. Several important factors are to be taken in consideration, such as the gradual heating of the air coming out the foghorns, that could significantly expand the metal strips.

I'll make some tests within the upcoming days...