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Joe Jones; Solar Music At Sierksdorf, Ostsee

Joe Jones; Solar Music At Sierksdorf, Ostsee

Edition Telemark
ET 314.08 LP
Long Playing Record
AUD$46.00

Solar Music by Joe Jones, performed and recorded early morning April 1, 1984, on the Baltic Sea beach of Sierksdorf in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. This recording was originally published as a tape by Edition Hundertmark in an edition of 15 copies and later reissued as a CD by ? Records. The original tape edition included seven photo prints and a title page which were missing from the CD and are reproduced here for the first time.

Edition of 200 in gatefold PVC sleeve. Right-hand side holds the LP, left-hand side holds a plastic bag with seven A5-sized photo prints on thick cardboard and the title page. Remastered sound.

After my first experience of using solar energy in my music, I found it difficult to go back to making battery powered pieces. Playing with the subtle changes that occured in the sounds produced by the different combinations of solar cells and motors, under a constant light source (light bulb), selecting one, then taking this combination out into the sun light, where the movement of the earth, cloud formations, and wind, slowly and sometimes radically changed the sounds. The voltage being higher in direct sunlight and lower when cloud formations cast shadows over the solar cells. The wind plays it's part by gently or not so gently moving the motors or hanging instruments, causing them to swing. The combination of all these factors create the solar music for that particular day. From complete density of sound in a cloudless sky at mid-day to silence in a heavy sky or total silence at sun down.
detail

The first Solar Music Piece was hand made chimes 1977, Harlekin Art, Wiesbaden. This was immediately followed by hanging zitars, to take advantage of their multi-string sound capacity. The "Solar Zitar" pieces could be hung outside or in a window, the sun and wind creating their own composition. This was a development of an earlier idea, 1964, but could not be completed because of the cost of material at that time. Many Music Machines are placed in a forest, drums, zitars, toy pianos, etc. The motors are powered by solar cells. As the sun rises the instruments start to play, and as the sun gets stronger, louder, clouds passing by change the sound also. As the sun sets, the forest once more becomes silent till the next morning when the sun rises again.

- Joe Jones


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