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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Paul DeMarinis

RainDance is an interactive sound installation that uses water to create a variety of nonwater sounds. Jets of water droplets modulated by proprietary electronic nozzles carry sound vibrations that are inaudible until the viewer/listener intercepts the stream of water with a large umbrella. The sound is then decoded and resonated from the surface of the umbrella. The umbrella, in effect, becomes the loudspeaker. Diverse electronic and acoustic material is modulated onto the streams so that people strolling along under the water jets can listen to, mix and sequence a variety of sonic material ranging from musical to rhythmic to electronic.

The Experience
The work is attractive and inviting to a wide variety of audiences including children and seniors. The umbrella creates a private zone for listening to the sounds. In a sense it is a talismanic device that at once shields the viewers from the water and permits them to hear the ever-present but inaudible sounds contained in the water. From afar, it is not apparent to newcomers what the people with the umbrellas are doing. It is not until they pick up an umbrella and immerse themselves in the experience that they begin to explore this world of the wet inaudible. If the weather is nice there is the additional opportunity for water-play, splashing other people, etc.