French artist David Letellier has created an ephemeral and mesmerizing kinetic sound sculpture for Saint Sauveur Chapel of Caen, France entitled ‘Caten’. Letellier developed the work from 300 fine wires suspended from two ropes and given shape by gravity and the slow shifting of rotating arms connected to the four corners of the stringed fabric. The name is derived from the term catenary, which describes the plane curve formed by a rope hanging between two points.
The piece produces an interpretation of the first verse and four notes notes (do re, mi, fa) for the prayer ‘Ut Queant Laxis’ or ‘Hymn to St John the Baptist’ as the draped wires are slowly rocked. The sculpture mirrors the arches of the architecture and engages with them as the sounds of the piece bounce off of the high-roofed space. Letellier notes, ‘the low frequencies resonate in the space and emphasize the transcendental character of a place once dedicated to faith’.
As a stringed instrument maker, I am blown away by this one-of-a-kind instrument constructed of the same materials that give voice to all stringed instruments! See more of this artist’s work on his website. And enjoy more shots of “Caten” below.