Visaurihelix, created by composer and sound artist, Louise Harris, is a sound and visual exploration of Mackintosh buildings from across Glasgow and, beyond. Each of the five musical movements have their own sonica and visual identity and relate to a specific design from iconic Mackintosh buildings: The Mackintosh House, Hill House, House for an Art Lover, Scotland Street School and The Lighthouse. The work is interactive and visitors can create and contribute their own sounds by using the beaters and bows on each of the copper pipes that intersect the staircase.
Within each of the buildings, Louise has chosen an artefact or design motif to form the basis for each of the movements. These designs directly affect the pitch and rhythm of what is heard and are intertwined with sounds from the buildings themselves, using field recordings from each of the spaces, which range from the sounds of footsteps and children's voices to different means of transport.
The first movement ( six minutes) is based on a motif from the railings at Scotland Street School. The work moves through a series of note clusters mapped to the nodes on the railings gradually fading into one another as the piece progresses.
The Hill House movement is based on one of the panels around the side of a light fitting, with nine central lines relating to nine rhythmic motifs that come in and out of each other as the movement progresses. The elliptical shapes on the light are represented by chord clusters that occur according to their position on the light fitting.
The Mackintosh House movement is derived from the floral shapes found in the furniture in the main living space of the house. The music uses the glass panelling in the door as the basis for its chord structure.
The Lighthouse movement is based on the pattern of the Willow armschair found in the Mackintosh Gallery. The grid pattern is represented by 22 rhythmic motifs that gradually unfold over time.
The House for an Art Lover movement is based on a detail in the external coving on the west side of the building. It is made up of five pitches that move up and down very gradually over time, in a similar way to the five fronds on the coving moving from left to right as they move up the building.
Duration 32 minutes.