Tidal Song, 2009


New Rochelle, NY. Mouth blown stained glass and etched float glass, sensors, speakers, programmable LED lighting.120 x 12 x 14'.

Tidal Song creates an immersive, interactive environment akin to a wave of energy. The team included Roger Smith as lighting consultant and Aaron Cuthbertson as sound designer. Sanjeev Shankar was researcher and technical assistant during the proposal phase of the project.

In this work pulses of light and color sweep across the bridge and curl up to the new Plaza. Tidal Song links New Rochelle’s traditional connection to coastal waters with dynamic energies of ‘now’. Nature’s forms are woven in a language of technology.

From the outside, a simple, bold gesture of light and color constantly evolves into something new. Inside, it is an immersive experience. The visitors 'play the instrument' of this space. A visitor entering the bridge triggers waves of light, color and sound. Each person creates his own song and light show with almost unlimited possibilities. Hidden motion sensors in the ceiling set off unexpected sounds and shifting light patterns at different points from side to side and along the length of the bridge. From below, footbridge pedestrians are seen triggering light movement within the bridge. Energy flows as the light and sound ripple through the luminous volume.

During the day, direct and indirect light makes the stained glass luminous, projecting the blues and greens across the floor. The visitor stands within waves of muted ripples of light. From the street, the sky backlights the brilliant layers of color.

At night, the whole volume of the bridge becomes a light box with a colored glass skin.The glass is etched in such a way as to offer rich effects at an intimate scale while the etching catches the light both day and night. The etched designs on each 6” square pixel are inspired by fractals where even the smallest part reflects the structure of the whole. The antique glass has water-like internal textures that cast beautiful shadows.

JMC Partners were the art consultants on the joint venture between Capelli Enterprises and the Town of New Rochelle.

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Tidal Song, 2009 description
© Catherine Widgery