C0 note (16,35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

D0 note (18.35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

C0 note (16,35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

F0 note (21.83 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

G0 note (24.50 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

A0 note (27.50 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

Perren, Chris: CASCADR 



Basic information



  • Program notes: 

    CASCADR is a hypnotic audiovisual work in which slow motion water droplets move through patterns of order and chaos in synchrony with musical tones. The rhythm of the piece is determined by a long phase pattern based on simple numeric ratios, slowly unfolding over a ten-minute duration.

    This collaboration between composer and audiovisual artist Chris Perren and cinematographer and inventor Jaymis Loveday represents a culmination of significant threads in both artists’ work. Perren’s fascination with visualised rhythm has led to a long series of audiovisual work, exploring a process of layering loops of audiovisual visual material that repeat at slightly different rates. Loveday has worked at the intersection between robotics and cinematography, and CASCADR brings together some of his key areas of experimentation including ultra-high-speed film and machine control of physical processes.

    In the work, 9 portrait-oriented video screens show starkly lit droplets of water falling slowly and repeatedly into a pool of blackness. Each drop appears to produce a musical tone. The drops fall repeatedly at slightly different rates, producing hypnotic wave effects of emerging order and chaos.

    The work begins with 9 drops falling simultaneously, in synchrony with a resounding 9-note chord. However, as the drops continue to fall, they begin to stagger, fanning out diagonally. The chords gradually morph into rolling arpeggios, and eventually into pointillistic constellations of sound. The graceful movement within each of the 9 screens is overlaid by the dramatic motion that emerges between the screens. The patterns gradually oscillate between chaos and order as they follow their long and deterministic journey toward realignment.

    The viewer is placed within the black abstract space of the work, where relentless repetition solidifies the rules of the world. Repetition strips the sights and sounds of their semantic weight, so that the viewer enters a world of pure form through time. CASCADR’s mathematical construction does not render it a work for the head; on the contrary, its demonstration of universal mathematical principles connects directly with the human sense of the ineffable. It evokes a sense of the divine fundamentals of nature in the tradition of the Fibonacci ratio and the music of the spheres.

    The musical notes that appear to be created by the droplets lend an affective and compelling voice to the unfolding algorithm, as consonant stable rhythms emerge and then fall away into chaos in waves. New complexities and sonorities are introduced throughout the piece, creating denser patterns and a more intense sensory experience as the piece moves deterministically toward its climax.

    Despite these surface variations, the core cyclic structure remains the same throughout, and the whole work is describable within a single set of time ratios. The effect is akin to the “wave pendulum” experiment, in which a series of pendulums of increasing length are activated together, and pass through various emergent phase-states before eventually returning to their original alignment. Such processes are magnetic to the pattern- obsessed human mind, and witnessing the final alignment evokes a feeling of satisfaction akin to placing the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle.

    The work was created with support from the Australia Council for the Arts and was completed in 2016.

  • Technical specs: 

    See attached PDF for various options for installation. Composer can adapt the audio to play through the festival’s 8.1 array.




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