Clouds play piano in new composition

5 August 2014, 11:19 | Updated: 2 October 2014, 17:13

What do clouds sound like? Artist-composer David Bowen attempts to answer this question in his eerie new piece, Cloud Piano, which translates the clouds into played music.

Clouds floating past a video camera provide the framework for a new musical installation in France. Saint-Etienne's contemporary art museum L'assaut de la Menuiserie will house a specially prepared piano from September, which uses the shapes created by clouds to create ethereal musical phrases.

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As the clouds float over a specially positioned camera, the shapes captured are slid straight over the keyboard as if they are fingers. The resulting sound is music played in real time, generated by the unique key patterns formed by the clouds changing shape.

This is not the first time Bowen has used nature to inspire his artwork. In his 2012 installation, Underwater, he used a motion tracking rig to map the ripples of waves and translated their shapes onto the ceiling.