In creating the physical work for Soundforge, the first problem to solve was how to assemble a portable armature that could support the musical keys. The original concept renderings I did called for gate-like structures with curvilinear ornaments, influenced by 18th- and 19th-Century European ironwork. In early 2011, as I began to listen to Michael Remson’s early drafts of the musical score, it became clear that I would need to redesign the ornamentation to fit with the sharp, pulsing, rhythmic soundscape he was creating.
|The design featured in this early concept rendering has been|
overhauled to mirror the aesthetics of the soundscape more closely.
For both logistical and aesthetic reasons, one of the first changes I made was to make the armatures modular and able to be disassembled to allow for easy transport and installation. I solved this problem by giving the cross braces of the three armatures threaded tenon ends, by drilling the newels and forging, drilling, and tapping custom pyramidal nuts.
|Threaded tenons allow the armatures to come apart for easier transport.|
Forging those tenons by hand seemed like a good idea at the time, but it took almost two weeks, even with the help of my studio assistant, John Eagan. It took another workweek to thread the uneven hand-forged tenons, not to mention the fact that I went through five cutting dies! The nuts were a bit easier, though hand forging one-inch steel stock is no picnic either—I am not big, nor particularly strong, just tenacious. The result is very functional, though, and, upon seeing the first armature assembled, I am beginning to get excited as the project comes together.
|These tapered ends were cut off…|
|…chamfered, drilled, tapped, and countersunk in order to|
transform them into fastening nuts for the armature.
|A close-up image of the armature’s mechanics.|
|The armature standing for the first time!|
It still needs feet and ornaments, but that is for another post.