“Reading Pi, EL 2011”
In my work I mainly employ standardised building blocks for compositions in time and space.
Inviting participation and exploring randomness and deviation are important aspects.
Numbers are mathematical objects used to count and measure. As notational symbol the arabic numerals 0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 are most commonly known worldwide. But every language has its own words for numbers. When we are reading a number sequence aloud or even silently in our head we will instinctively count in our mother tongue; every person in their own unique personal sound and rhythm.
“Reading Pi” consists of the recorded voices of in principal unlimited number of participants reading fractions of the number Pi in their own language.
The circumference of a circle equals its diameter multiplied by Pi. Pi is an irrational number sequence, which means that its decimal representation never ends or repeats. While to our best knowledge and imagination Pi is continuing its random pattern to infinity, in practical terms the approximation of Pi = 3.141592653589793238462643383279 is sufficient to calculate the circumference of the known universe to the millimeter.
In one hour we can read out aloud approximately 5000 digits. The world record for reciting the number Pi totally from memory and without any outside help and without any errors stands today at 67890 digits. Reciting one after the other all 2700000000000 digits known today, would take 61000 years.
In this instance about about 60000 digits of the number pi will be used in 12 hours of recording. These are distributed on to 6 or more CDs with two voices each; one reading voice per channel; each voice reciting a different number sequence. The speakers will be mounted above eye level and distributed in a random pattern. The distance between speakers will depend on the choice of volume and thus the extension in space. At least three voices should be heard at any given position.
All CDs will be played simultaneously in a loop. Slight differences in recording time of the different CDs will lead to a continuous change, creating a shifting web of sound and rhythm that also presents itself differently with the changing position of the visitor passing through the space.