Weather For The Blind

2015
Quintron
Created for Wave Farm's broadcast series "Climactic Climate," commissioned by Ö1 Kunstradio - Radiokunst in Vienna, Weather For The Blind is an hour-long audio distillation of a day in the life of weather in the artist Quintron's hometown, New Orleans, Louisiana as translated by his environmentally interactive musical instrument Weather Warlock. Built by Quintron in New Orleans, Louisiana and Captiva, Florida, Weather Warlock is comprised of outdoor sensors, which translate changes in sunlight, wind speed, rainfall, temperature, and other natural elements, into electronic signals. "The brain" of Weather Warlock is a large analog drone synthesizer, which uses weather signals to modulate a bedrock E-major chord. Perhaps the most dramatic sounds in Weather For The Blind come from a small UV detector pointed directly at the sky. Quintron designed this "sky sensor" to respond to the radical changes in light that happen during sunrise and sunset. An overcast day, a very bright moon, or a lightning storm also dramatically affects this sensor, creating eerie warbling moans. Writes Quintron, "I find E-major to be a powerful yet soothing chord which can become quite hypnotic over long periods of time. My hope is that this weather music might produce the aural equivalent to the feeling that we get by staring into a fire or at the ocean--relaxed and placid, yet stimulated by subtle random flux. In the one-hour long composition, created for broadcast, I have recorded highlights of the Weather Warlock instrument doing its thing at different times of day and under different atmospheric conditions. I have provided brief voiceovers introducing each segment so that listeners will know the time of day and what the weather was like during each recording." The title "Weather For The Blind" is in reference to a circadian rhythm sleep disorder suffered by many sight impaired persons. Quintron's project-at-large is a constant and evolving convergence of sound and nature. Listeners can access a live stream of the Weather Warlock 24 hours a day at www.weatherforthelblind.org.