Sound of Aetherius is an immersive large scale sound installation. A hexagonal prism containing 120 strings comes alive with ethereal music through interaction with desert sun and wind.
Sound of Aetherius is a project dreamed up by artist Adela Wagner in collaboration with a core team, a group of friends and Burners, who are based in Berlin, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and Prague.
Sound of Aetherius is a labor of love, friendship and playa magic. Creating this sculpture for Burning Man and beyond is also an expensive undertaking.
To support the project, we have launched a Kickstarter
All funds will go directly to fabrication and material costs.
Any and all donations are greatly appreciated!
Adela brought her violin to the Nevada desert in 2019 and after hearing the violin singing by itself in the middle of the desert, she was both in awe and inspired to research Aeolian harps, the history of them, the physics of resonance, and the amplification of sound. The science behind this instrument primarily comes from the physics behind Aeolian Harps, a stringed instrument played only by the wind.
Learning an instrument, how to play music, or even seeing a live performance, is a privilege that is not accessible to everyone. Sound of Aetherius removes the barriers to musical creation and performance by encouraging citizens to touch and play with it regardless of musical knowledge; and by making music organically through the structure’s interaction with light and wind.
Anyone who comes across Sound of Aetherius can be both a performer and an audience member at the same time.
Archival Image of Aeolian Harp
Adela playing her violin, Burning Man 2019
Sound of Aetherius produces sound that falls into a class called Aeroacoustics. The effect behind the string vibrations caused by air or water flow is vortex shedding. Watch a simulation of vortex shedding HERE.
Our solar activation is made with infinite sustainer, which incorporates electromagnetic power, triggered by the sun rays passing through SOA dome roof to a solar panel. You can see more on the different ways the piece will become activated by wind and sun below.
Viewers may hear Sound of Aetherius before they see it as sound will draw participants in as they approach the hexagonal prism, which is lined with strings, and topped with a dome-shaped roof.
At sunrise and sunset, the sun pierces through the apertures of the dome, activating magnets, whose electromagnetic power resonates the bass piano strings, producing sustained and deep drone tones.
The community can enjoy these sounds standing in front of the piece, from within it, or touching it to feel the vibrations. You discover there is a way to enter the instrument. Entering the resonant cavity offers an additional experience with echo, sound distortion, and resonance – as if one was enveloped by music.
As if you could squeeze through the keyhole of an upright bass. As if you could crawl up into the body of a violin and let the music cradle you and hug you with its warm tones.
We are seeking volunteers on and off playa who would like to contribute their time, skills and energy to the project.
Our most pressing needs are currently:
fundraising support, sourcing materials, event production, and build support in Brooklyn!
If you are interested in volunteering, sign up here: