Posted by Ards Arts Centre|22 September 2015| in Press

Visitors to Ards Arts Centre’s Georgian gallery this October may be surprised to find nothing on the walls as an intriguing new sound installation opens this Thursday 1st October...

The exhibition will not feature any imagery (the walls are left blank) but rather it is a sensory / soundscape installation which invites you to imagine “what if the stars made a sound?” and allows you to hear the stars rather than see them.

As the earth rotates on its axis, the stars appear to slowly spin around Polaris - the North Star which stays stationary. The artist and composer Robert Jarvis has created a soundscape to engage visitors with this natural phenomenon allowing you to 'hear' the stars.

Visitors to aroundNorth will experience the sounds assigned to the stars above, projected in real time through 8 speakers placed in the gallery. One of the best ways to experience the installation is to stand in the centre of the gallery, close your eyes, listen, and imagine the stars moving above your head.

The artist and composer Robert Jarvis has worked on this project for a number of years in collaboration with the Armagh Observatory, accurately mapping the solar system from the North Star Polaris to create a stellar orchestra by assigning stars a sound based on their size, brightness, colour and distance from Earth. The result is a mesmerising sound map of the universe as viewed from our turning planet. 

aroundNorth will appeal to a very wide audience due to the unique and accessible nature of soundscape. Visitors to the gallery do not need to have any understanding of astronomy or science to fully appreciate what they hear.

The exhibition will particularly appeal to those who are visually impaired as it is a unique sensory experience and allows visitors to imagine the stars by sound alone.

For those with an interest in astronomy, a daily listening schedule has been prepared for those who might like to try to identify what stars they are hearing, giving the name of the star, the approximate time that the star will sound, a description, and which loudspeaker it will sound from. The schedule is available in advance from Ards Arts Centre.

aroundNorth opens on Thursday 1st October 7pm – 9pm and will include a short introduction by the artist Robert Jarvis and Professor Mark E Bailey, Director of Armagh Observatory.

aroundNorth is now permanently installed at Armagh Observatory and this travelling installation is a rare opportunity to experience the unique sound installation locally.

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