(UPDATED 2/18/17) Description of and background on the Golder 1 Center artwork “Sonic Passages” and its creator Bill Fontana.
Bill Fontana, the creator of Sonic Passages, is a San Francisco-based composer. He has developed a reputation internationally for his experiments in sound. Fontana uses sound as a medium to impact our perception of visual and architectural spaces. He is the third local artist granted a public art commission by the Sacramento City Council for the Golden 1 Center. Fontana’s contract with the city was for $330,750.
The other two artists, both from Sacramento, are Gale Hart (Missing the Mark) and Bryan Valenzuela (Multitudes Converge). See related posts: Missing the Mark – Sacramento Public Art and Multitudes Converge – Sacramento Public Art.
The first time I became aware of the term “sound sculptures” was in connection with the commission of Sonic Passages. Fontana sound sculptures have been installed all around the world. Locations in the United States include San Francisco, New York, Chicago and now Sacramento. International locations include Rome, Paris, London, Vienna, Venice, Tokyo, and Barcelona.
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About Sound Sculptures and Sonic Passages
According to Fontana’s website his methodology has been to “…create networks of simultaneous listening points that relay real-time acoustic data to a common listening zone (sculpture site).”
The Sacramento sound sculpture consists of small loudspeakers that are distributed among the planters on the north side of the Golden 1 Center (aka Sacramento Kings arena) and on the two Green Wall sections facing the planters.
Fontana recorded sounds of birds, insects and plant movement from the Sacramento Valley, among other things. The sounds are intermittent.
Concrete benches in the area provide seating in the vicinity of the speakers.
To Sum Up
To sum up, I made a point of spending some time sitting on one of the benches and listening to the sound sculpture. What a great place to sit and relax on a summer afternoon – perhaps while enjoying a brown bag lunch.
(2/18/2017) Additional information added.
Have you had an opportunity to “hear” Sonic Passages? What is your opinion of sound sculptures, and Sonic Passages specifically?
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Beverly Bales says
Thanks. I’m eager to hear the sounds. Maybe there were sounds at the open house, but as my friend and I sat on the benches , too much activity was going on around us. I look forward to going again.
Yes, once things settle down (i.e. nearby construction, etc.) it will be much easier to hear and enjoy Sonic Passages