ANCIENT CHAOS – Commissioned by Sonos to create a sound reactive installation in collaboration with the musician Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange), The Principals created a 16′ tall canopy, 8′ wide by 36′ long covering the performance and grand stand seating area of the private workspace collective Neuehouse. Inspired by the work of Arthur Rimbaud, The Principals chose the name Ancient Chaos, a phrase from his poem Matinée d’Ivresse which speaks to a basic force of wonder within all of us at the hidden patterns of nature. The installation, both a sonic composition and a physical structure, creates sounds that verge on the architectural and architecture that verges on the fluid.
Created using a unique system developed by The Principals, the canopy is composed of 6000 individual pieces of silver-coated mylar “quilted” together and driven by a series of hi-powered stepper motors. Using a custom spectrum analyzer/motor driver system, The Principals split out a series of sound frequencies from Hynes’ composition as well as ambient sounds to control individual panels of the structure. On the opening evening, after a panel discussion with The Principals and New Yorker Music Critic Sasha Frere-Jones, Hynes performed his composition live directly linked to the installation.