It’s all about vibrations… man. You don’t need to be scientifically minded, (or a child of the sixties) to believe the universe is constantly in motion, that even objects that appear completely stationary are, in fact, vibrating at different frequencies. Take twelve forty five tonne granite monoliths for example; arranged, Stonehenge-style, in a remote coastal area of Denmark. By design – that of sculptor Thomas Kadsiola – the stone figures are a creative work in progress, etched slowly over time but made for all eternity. There is music too, playing from sunrise to sunset, 365 days a year; and for that, d&b loudspeakers - encased in stone.
To visit Dodekalitten, as more than 100,000 people do each year, is to find yourself tuned in. “The idea started in 2006,” begins Kadsiola, “with a triolith that I made for an art-nature project. The highest stone then was 2,25 m. One could sense an energy in the center of the three stones, and one day a friend asked me how I’d created that. The next question was, would that energy rise if the circle and the stones were much larger and the number bigger?
“I knew from the start, that I would not be able to realize the project on my own, so I asked my friend, who is a composer, if he could make music for the circle, knowing also that music would add another dimension to the piece.”
Wayne Seigel, friend, composer and former director of the Danish Institute of Electronic Music (DIEM). “I discussed my musical ideas extensively with Thomas and we listened to several prototypes of the sound installation before I created the first version of Solkreds (sun circle), the music for Dodekalitten. It was important for me to create a composition that was constantly changing and developing; music that could never repeat itself.”
To that end, the sound of Dodekalitten runs via a computer program, controlled by an algorithm that takes into account a number of natural phenomenon including the solar and lunar phases, as well as the tide.
“The 12.2 surround system creates an immersive sound environment that adds to the magic of the location,” says Seigel. “Standing in the centre of the circle, the experience is of being in a very special space surrounded by sculptures and sound. When one walks around within the circle the mix changes, since each speaker is playing different voices; visitors can create their own musical experience simply by moving around the monument.”
Given Dodekalitten’s location - amidst the salty air and damp earth – sound quality, and elemental endurance were key to selecting the sound solution. It was back in 2016 when Siegel first approached Lars Frederiksen at local d&b partner, Alfa Audio, to ask whether it would be at all possible to create and install a twelve channel sound system underneath some rocks in an open coastal field. “I told him I would like to hear more,” recalls Frederiksen. “That it was a challenge I would be happy to take up.”
Knowing the original sound system had been lost to over-enthusiastic fungi, Frederiksen’s primary concern was salt air exposure and moisture from the ground - upon which the cabinets would be lying.