Play 109

Play 109 is an interactive sound, video and graffiti installation by Damian Castaldi & Solange Kershaw  in collaboration with the artist/programmer Neil Jenkins and Jake Lewis of the Amerg Collective.


Watch a video of the opening night as part of the Renew Newcastle first Friday of the month events in the Newcastle mall on the 4th of December 2009.

sodacake convert the downstairs gallery at Loop Space into a walk-through, floor to ceiling, 12 channel stringed instrument, which can be plucked, bowed or simply touched to play any one of 4 soft synth instruments and/or sampled audio from the Hunter St mall. Their work uses the Infusion Systems I-CubeX microDig sensor interface and 12 mercury sensors to trigger sound & music from the application Logic Pro’s Sculpture plugin. The program physically models the components of acoustic instruments then feeds them through a chain of adjustments, modulation, keyboard scaling and morphing. A live audio feed from the Hunter St mall is sampled and processed using the EXS-24 software sampler.

Neil Jenkins is an artist/programmer (see: Neil’s work uses slit camera techniques to transform a live video feed of the Hunter St mall, visitors are ‘scanned’ as they move in and out of frame creating a continuous temporal visualisation of the space mapped over time. The live video feed is projected above the 12 channel stringed instrument and illuminates the space. s

Amerg Collective, are a Newcastle and Sydney based artists collective that specialize in interior and exterior artwork production. All having deep roots in the aerosol art community both locally and internationally, and over ten years experience in the street art and graffitti movement. They have worked with sodacake to create a visual backdrop to the sound installation in both the front window and internal wall space of the gallery.

Play 109 the second in a series of interactive sound installations sodacake are installing in 2009/2010. The first, Play 44 was installed in Melbourne in October 2009 at the historic house, Villa Alba in Kew. Each installation transforms a different location (shopfront, historic house, gallery, mall etc …) into a musical instrument, which people can then engage with and play. The instrument changes uniquely in relation to the location and its surroundings and takes the number of the street address for the title of the work, (as in 109 Hunter St Newcastle and 44 Walmer St Kew).
An underlying influence in this series of sound installations comes from the late 1940’s and 1950’s movement known as Musique Concrète, in that its pioneer Pierre Schaeffer, “emphasized the importance of play (in his terms, jeu) in the creation of music. Schaeffer’s idea of jeu comes from the French verb jouer, which carries the same double meaning as the English verb play: ‘to enjoy oneself by interacting with one’s surroundings’, as well as ‘to operate a musical instrument’.” This notion is the core of Musique Concrète and the underlying influence to Play 109.

solange kershaw & damian castaldi