Resonating-With-secondlifeWind is a permanent, large scale, generative sound-installation in Second Life, "a 3D online digital world imagined and created by its residents".

When roaming the world of Second Life one might not immediately be aware of it, but everywhere in this world there is wind, constantly changing and twisting air streams. Resonating-With-secondlifeWind works and responds to this wind. Above the clouds there are floating 100 windmills, ordered in a grid. Each windmill shows us the direction and speed of the wind at that specific position. Together, they give a visual representation of how the wind behaves on a larger scale, over a larger area.

Each windmill uses the available wind-energy to lift a red object: More wind and the object is lifted faster. Once the red object is at its top it's ready to drop down again so it will hit the acoustic resonator at the bottom, and thus make a sound. The red object will only drop down though, when there is another windmill nearby also making a sound. So, the rhythm with which the sound will be played depends on the wind as well as on the sounds from the neighboring windmills. Since the wind in Second Life is always changing and never the same, the musical result will always be different: Infinite variations on rhythm and melody.


Article in cataloque of exhibition Rinascimento Virtuale, Florence (IT).

21.10.2008 - 07.01.2009
Exhibition at the Festival della Creatività in the Museum of Natural History, Florence (IT).

10.05.2008 - 18.05.2008
Exhibited at Kunstvlaai7 in Amsterdam (NL).

Presentation during the Dream Festival in Kingston, NY (US). Organized by Ione and Pauline Oliveros. Also part of a real-life performance by the Weave ensemble.

Online opening in Second Life. +65 visitors came to the online opening!

Opening-presentation in real life at Mediamatic, Amsterdam (NL), as part of the event You Only Live Twice.

Detailed info:

About the existing weather system in Second Life.

A visual, animated example of a fluid-simulator that shows approximately how the wind & clouds behave in Second Life.

In order to make the proces of how the sound-texture is created more intelligible, the installation has been designed with many recognizable element from real life. Except for the fact that the whole installation is floating above the clouds, the design of the sound-installation is an attempt to make something that is quite close to reallife. Most of all, the emulation of physics from real life: The preservation and transformation of energy from one from to another (wind energy, potential energy, kinetic energy, accoustic energy). A similar process has been used in a previous real life sound-installation, Resonating-With-Light.

The pallet of sounds (samples) for this installation has been designed by combining a self-designed disharmonic sound-spectrum with Harry Partch's Tonality Diamond. Harry Partch's set of just-intonation pitches is based on the harmonic overtone structure. By using a disharmonic sound and using its disharmonic overtone structure to construct a set of pitches (using Harry Partch's logic), one can create a collection of sounds that, even though they are disharmonic, will sound very consonant or pure when played together. A similar phenomenon is happening with gamelan music. Even though the gong-sounds in gamelan music are disharmonic, they sound very pure when played together. This is because the pitches of the sounds are adjusted to the overtones of the sounds. This is not the case with, for example, a european carillion. The bells of a carillion have a disharmonic sound but the melodies that are played with it are based on the western 12 tones-per-octave equal temperament. This combination will result in a lot of so called 'beating' of overtones and thus in a less pure, or less consonant, end result.

Inspirations for this project:

Sound-installation Resonating-With-Light by Edo Paulus.
'It's In The Air' by Felix Hess.
Harry Partch and especially his interpretation of just intonation.

Thank you:

Sophie Kasei (avatar name)
Josephine Dorado
Kristin Maurer
Luna Maurer
Jonathan Puckey
Viola van Alphen
Hans Baldwin (avatar name)
Joja Dhara (avatar name)
All other residents of Second Life who have helped me out.
Applied Learning Technologies Institute


This project has been realized with support from The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (Fonds BKVB).

Visit the sound-installation in Second Life
(You need to download the Second Life client and create an account to be able to visit. It's free)
During the opening (14.06.2007)
During the opening (14.06.2007)