The acrux was designed and built following the configuration of the Southern Cross constellation that is only visible in the night sky of the southern hemisphere. Its vibrating lamellae made of tempered steel reach three octaves in a chromatic scale.
The hemispherical sound box represents the southern hemisphere. The acrux has been in constant development since it was created using digital technologies such as 3D modeling.
Listen to the sound of the most recent version of the acrux.
Each component of this instrument is associated to a particular aspect of that constellation. The transparency of the universe that allows us to look at the stars, motivated the use of glass for its soundboard.
As an instrument ‘born digital’, its physical entity carries a digital counterpart, which is a ‘virtual instrument’ and subsequently a ‘digital library’. 21st century technologies allow us to be free from design constraints and create a whole new generation of musical instruments.
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three acruxes and one galcrux are connected at the center by a tablet running the Acrux Seasons app, a virtual acrux that changes the sound according to the four seasons. Whoever enters the installation participates with those already there contributing to the music and playing together.
We’ve always wanted to create a digital version of this instrument. After meeting with creative education company ‘Pyka’, six primary schools in South Wales were involved in the most unlikely of creative partnerships. Over several months, the potential for the digital acrux instrument was discussed with the school children, Pyka’s team of developers and Victor Gama. The result of this work was Acrux Seasons, the app that allows you to play your way through the seasons as you watch them change around you.
Informal group performances happen spontaneously at the INSTRMNTS exhibition, it’s a special moment when people seam to come together without even thinking about it. Just like a star with its planets around it visitors tend to fall into the orbit of these fascinating instruments.
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