Bach_10K transforms the huge disused gas storage tank in Augsburg, Germany, into an ever-changing soundscape. The hypnotic swing of the 70m-long Foucault pendulum sets the beat for a very slow rendition of Bach’s prelude in C.
Chords build up note by note conducted by this gargantuan metronome. At a pace of one note every 17 seconds the piece runs about 10,000 seconds.
That’s how the project got it’s name. Starting and ending in pure C-major the progression through tensed or even dissonant chords can be felt bodily as organ pipes make the air inside the towering steel cylinder resonate. As the planet revolves, seemingly making the pendulum change its orientation in space the harmonies follow their tracks hidden in time.
The soundscape is generated by 58 organ pipes arranged around the central visitors’ platform. They are built in ten groups anchored in every second sector of the steel framework on the top of the gasometer’s former piston.
The wooden pipes have a rectangular cross section. Painted white, they become a prominent part of the massive metal scaffolding dominating the space. The longest pipe stands almost five meters tall. Filling the whole volume of the gasometer with sound the sound sources also have a commanding physical presence.
The ten windchests supplying air to the pipes are linked by plastic tubing connecting the groups to a central blower unit. The tubing refers to the former use of the gasometer, and, incidentally, the pressure needed to operate the organ pipes is very similar to the gas pressure the building used to hold.
Sound installation Bach_10K
Every pipe is operated by its own electro-pneumatic valve which is connected to a central control unit. The pipe controller is synchronized by signals transmitted from the pendulum driver unit needed to feed kinetic energy to the pendulum by electromagnetic fields. This way, the pendulum becomes a giant metronome.
Augbsurg is a dozy German city which is 7 hours away from Berlin by train.
3. April – 31. Oktober 2011 // Sunday 13.00h – 17.00h
86156 Augsburg-Oberhausen / Germany