Studio Edwin van der Heide
Sound Modulated Light

Sound Modulated Light is an environment of light and sound wherein sound is not present acoustically, but is carried by light. The space consists of a design of multiple lights. Each light bulb has its own soundtrack assigned to it. The sound is modulated on top of the light by means of intensity modulation. Low audio frequencies result in a visible flickering of the lights. Higher audio frequencies result in a flickering that is too fast to be perceived by our eyes.

The visitors get a special hand-held device that makes the modulated light audible as sound on a headphone. The receiver consists of two light sensors (one for the left ear and one for the right ear), a demodulator part and an amplifier part to drive the headphone. You could call it a light receiver instead of a radio receiver. The loudness of the sounds depends on the intensity of the amount of light 'picked up' by the receiver. By moving around in the space, and by moving the receiver different combinations of light are falling on the light sensors. Since every light corresponds to a different track of the composition the audience is (re-)mixing and combining the different tracks of the composition. The sound changes according to the movements of the receiver because every light carries a different sound. The sound material consists of electronic sounds that slowly transform over time. Each track (light bulb) has its own musical development and its own duration. The sounds are composed in such a way that they are meant to be combined. Moving the receiver will result in different combinations of the composed sounds and gives an interesting level of control to the visitors. Sound Modulated Light is a participative environment in which the visitors are invited to explore and interact with the space.

Sound Modulated Light #3
Sound Art - Klang als Medium der Kunst, ZKM - Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2012-2013
Sound Modulated Light #3
Voltage Festival, Kunsten Centrum BUDA, Kortrijk, Belgium, 2008

click for more photos from this exhibition...
Art Centre Nabi, Seoul, Korea, 2007
Split Film Festival, Split, Croatia, 2006
Cracow Audioart Festival, Cracow, Poland, 2005
concept and realization: Edwin van der Heide