In 2016, the museum commissioned Trimpin, a ground-breaking composer and sculptor, to design and create a major new work for the WSU community. Ambiente432 debuted at the inauguration of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and has now entered the museum’s permanent collection.
Comprised of 12 motion-responsive resonator horns suspended from the ceiling and organized in strategic configurations, this site-responsive installation explores the sound-space continuum, demonstrating how an architectural environment may coexist and harmonize with a kinetic sound sculpture. Like much of his previous work, Trimpin’s installation combines ancient methods with scientific principles and 21st century technology. Ambiente432 is tuned precisely to 432Hz. Known as Verdi’s ‘A’, this vibration frequency recurs in the tuning of ancient Tibetan singing bowls, Stradivarius instruments, and 20th century physicist W. O. Schumann calculated the Earth’s rhythms at a cycle close to the fundamental frequency of 432Hz. Ambiente432 is ‘played’ by visitors themselves as they move through and activate the space, impacting their own immersive spatial and aural experience.
Organized by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU and curated by Ryan Hardesty.
Funding for this exhibition is provided by the Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Endowment, the Holland/Orton Endowment, and Members of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU.
About the Artist
Trimpin, who goes only by his last name, was born in Germany, in 1951, near the Black Forest. He spent several years living and studying in Berlin, working as a set designer and collaborating with artists from both Germany and the United States. He has worked and lived in Seattle since 1979. Trimpin received a MacArthur “Genius” award and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for his investigations of acoustic music in spatial relationship, both in 1997. He holds an Honorary Doctorate in Musical Arts from California Institute of the Arts, which he was awarded in 2010. In 2016, the Seattle Symphony collaborated with Trimpin to commission a site-specific installation, original composition, and one-time only presentation entitled Above, Below, and In Between.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU is located in the Crimson Cube (on Wilson Road across from Martin Stadium and the CUB) on the WSU Pullman campus.