Robert Jarvis‘ sound art installation aroundNorth allows listeners to experience the near
universe as they have never heard it before. As the Earth spins on its axis, and day becomes night becomes day, our view of the near universe changes in terms of the changing positions of the stars in the sky. One star appears to stay stationary (the North Star); and the rest take about 23 hours 56 minutes and 4 seconds to complete a full revolution.
‘aroundNorth’ offers listeners an opportunity to hear this phenomenon in real time. As each star crosses equally spaced virtual lines emanating from Celestial North Pole, a corresponding sound is heard that maps the star’s position in the sky, size, distance from Earth, brightness and temperature, creating a mesmerising sound map of the universe as viewed by our turning planet.
‘aroundNorth’ humanizes the astronomical, giving us an emotional key to help us relate the unfathomable heavens to our own experiences of time and space. With echoes of a Neolithic monument of ancient myth, the installation introduces us to a universe full of interest, encouraging us to think differently about the cosmos and our place within it.