Between Electronics and Sound: The Sculptures of Eirik Brandal

Eirik Brandal is and artist and engineer working between circuits and sound, primarily on the development of intricate sonic sculptures in which the electronic components play an important aesthetic role, also integrating light in some of them, resulting in amazing experiences around objects and space, inspired by the sculptural work of people such as Walter Giers, Alain le Boucher, Peter Vogel, Leonardo Ulian and Gislain Benoit.

All his work has weird titles in an attempt of not contaminating the listener with preconceived ideas. His sculptures integrate speakers and light emitters so they can talk, but also include sensors so they can listen and interact, such as the case of gulfs, which invited the audience to interact with it, thus creating a dialogue and a choreography in-between.

Other experiments include things like oscillators and sonic devices that interact in different ways with the space or people, such as the case of ihscale, it creates sine waves depending on the movement and amount of people in the room. In others such as viyndr, a single oscillator + digital delay create sounds by multiplying a base signal in different varying factors, reproducing overtone series until the 21st harmonic.

In his most recent works, Brandal has been integrating light into the formula, which aggregates a beautiful element to the sculptural dimension. His latest piece is a perfect example of that: cwymriad, conceived as “a dual ring modulator circuit with an 8×16 LED matrix. The four oscillators used are square waves filtered down to triangle waves, and then modulated to produce rich bell-like sounds. The LED matrix functions as an oscilloscope with a fixed “trigger”, displaying the output signal in the amplitude domain.”

Head over to his YouTube channel where he publishes fully detailed making of videos:

This piece perfectly exemplifies a core idea in his work, which is to find aesthetic value in circuits and materials as such, not in a conceptual or preconceived framework, as he states in a recent interview at Sul Ponticello:

“…what I want to say about the feeling of transparency between the public and my work is that printed circuit boards have almost become a symbol of electronics these days. Until we modularize and separate the different components we do not realize that they are part of an ecosystem, and I want to highlight the communication between each of these parts through sonification and visualization. […] In recent years I have been thinking, in general terms, about how to separate what I do from the enormous historical baggage of freeform electronics, and if there is something I can do to more clearly project my vision and ideas through the veil that assumes the inherent aesthetics of electronic components.

More on his official website / YouTube Channel

Miguel Isaza M

Listener, speaker.