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Music of falling paper

Presented by: 
Jane Wang Cornell University
Tuesday 28th November 2017 - 14:50 to 15:15
INI Seminar Room 1
A piece of paper falls in a seemingly erratic manner. Each fall is a solution to the Navier-Stokes equations, but why does it evoke such a poetic feelings in us? When our eyes trace the paper as it falls, following its flutter and tumble, punctuated by a sudden lift and turn, we can feel lines of musical phrases in air. Some motions have the sound of percussion, others of a flute, a string, or even a cry or laugh. Drop small ones en mass, and they become fireworks.

I started making ‘Music of Falling Paper’ a few years ago. It is an attempt to use falling paper both as a ‘music instrument’ and a visual means to convey the connection between the movement of simple objects and the movement of living organisms. They are improvisational pieces, often in collaboration with musicians, in public space and in response to the theme of the event. I drop pieces of paper from a height, the musicians improvise, and I in turn respond to their play when choosing the next sequence to drop. When constructing the sequences, I think about many things. I shall share some of these thoughts and clips at the talk.

Related Links
University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons