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Augmented Lithophone
Sculpture                     Jonathan Shor
Sound                          Dr. Perry Cook
Landscape Design      Groundswell Design Group

About “Augmented Lithophone”:
Imagine a child running along side a picket fence in a bucolic suburban setting, dragging a stick over the pickets tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap.  Next picture a 4ooo year old Vietnamese Lithophone (stone xylophone) , add to this the effects of current music synthesis technology.  Now listen for the audio documentation of the creation of the sculpture and once you have picked up a stainless steel rod and given the granite posts a good whack you will be a collaborator at Quark Park also.

 About the music:
This is a 15 minute composition written in the Chuck audio programming language. There are 4 distinct sonic "scenes," beginning with the crackling of the granite breaking (multiple delayed and reverberated loops of this). Slowly, tapping sounds begin to augment, then replace the cracking sounds. These taps were Jon’s actual hammering of the shims used to split the rock. This eventually grows into a rhythmic pattern, based on a meter of 17 grouped as 7 + 5 + 5 (there are 17 stones in the lithophone). The crackles return to replace the rhythmic tapping, then the piece concludes with hammering sounds that almost approach those of woodpeckers. These final sounds are isolated strikes of the impact drill Jon uses to make the holes that will eventually be used to split the rocks. All sounds heard in this exhibit are those of the stones and the tools used to break them. Thanks to Jon for letting me "look" into his rocks with my microphones.\

About the electronics:
Each "bar" of the Lithophone (stone xylophone) is affixed with a piezoelectric contact microphone. These transfer the vibrations to a box containing some simple digital signal processing equipment, which adds delays and reverb to the xylophone sounds (simulating a cave-like environment). Enjoy the sounds!!

About the setting:
The landscaping installed by Groundswell Design Group of Hopewell, NJ was sensitive to the sculpture and mirrors the artist's idea of a picket fence in a rustic juxtaposition to that of the granite pillars. Groundswell Design Group is owned by Landscape Architect David Fierabend, who with his team John McDowell, Jennifer Cole and installers created a complimentary, contemplative space in relation to what the sculpture was evoking.


Quark Park is being developed by Kevin Wilkes, AIA; Peter Soderman; and Alan Goodheart, ASLA. The World Hope Foundation has joined forces with this team to be the fiscal agent for the project. The World Hope Foundation mission supports self-determination in communities by bringing resources to community members and educational experts that are willing to step forward and enhance the lives of their children and elders. The Foundation is a qualified as a Federal 501 (c)(3) charitable organization and as such is eligible to solicit and support charitable causes.
World Hope Foundation
Web design and photos by Cie Stroud are © 2006

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