interactive installation, steel profiles, 600x300x250cm
Gamel is an interactive sound installation that consists of five raw steel profiles producing different pitch. The tonal scale refers to pelog - one of the tuning systems used in the instruments of gamelan - the traditional music ensemble of the Javanese, Sundanese and Balinese peoples of Indonesia, which performances aim to put the audience into the state of a spiritual balance. The word gamel in javanese means "to hit", most of the instruments used are metallophones.
The raw steel profiles that form the installation were found among waste and discarded materials. Their voice was revealed when they clinked together as being held by a thin wire. The intervals between them seemed uncanny and alluring. Three of them had a timbre pure and strong like the ring of a large bell, two others had a sound rich in overtones. All together created a scale that fit within pelog.
The aim of the project was to create a situation of audial exploration between the viewer and the installation. The simplicity of both the composition and materials encourages spontaneous playfulness. The viewers are allowed to interact with the elements of the installation by swinging the profiles, touching them with various objects e.g. wedding rings, pens, bottles, or anything else they happen to carry with them. The mallets, drumsticks or any other form of percussive accesories were intentionally avoided so as not to induce fear or any expectations in terms of musicality of the viewers. The sound qualities of the installation hold the potential to evoke the state of relaxation, peace and clarity, while the playful character of the exploration might help reduce the stress levels, bring feelings of joy and stimulate creativity.