Jonathan Harris ’20 Wins President’s Award for Student Public Art on Campus
Jonathan Harris ’20
MusB Composition/Performance; Minor Visual Arts
Sunpath is an outdoor, immersive audio installation that uses freely-available astronomical data to track and spatially trace the sun’s path as it travels across the campus. This slowly-evolving, algorithmically-generated, multichannel composition will shift gradually across 16 speakers mounted under the triangular promenade arcades that flank the campus plaza and transform from dawn to dusk in accordance with solar intensity, the sun’s angle in the sky, and other seasonal data: emerging at sunrise at one end of campus, quietly hovering at the very edge of audibility as it travels across the promenade, and dissolving at twilight.
As the angle of the sun changes from hour to hour and season to season, so does this 365-day-long composition, an almost imperceptibly-shifting soundscape. The work also takes into account acoustic anomalies present under these triangulated overhangs; audiences will have the sense they are moving through the work’s various sonic and timbral elements, much as they do light and temperature.