Artist Craig Colorusso makes music with Sun Boxes I asked him some questions: Are the units solely powered by the solar panels, that is when the sun doesn’t shine are they silent? Does the volume change with the intensity of the sunlight? Are they waterproof enough to leave out in the rain?
Yes, there are no batteries so there needs to be direct sun on each of the panels. The variable being volume. More sun- more power- more volume. There was a not so bright day in September and the Boxes were on the quiet side. It was a nice variation. Subtle.
This adds a few interesting possibilities, when the clouds cover the sun the cells ether get quiet or stop all together. The first time this happen of course I was totally freaking out. I was in the desert and a huge cloud blocked the sun and everyone stop making sound. For a bout 3 minutes or so I was trying to figure out what I did wrong. Then the sun broke through and all the boxes started up simultaneously and it was glorious.
Clouds are not the only thing that do this. When a participant walks by and blocks the sun that box will stop and start up from the beginning of its cycle. So, there is a subtle interaction. People have the opportunity to alter the evolution of the composition.
What I really dig is the ambient sounds of the environment. It’s loud enough to engulf the participants but quiet enough to hear things like cars, birds, leaves people… My favorite example was last year I set it up in my backyard in the snow. It was a really quiet day and I heard the sound of a plane flying over my yard through the sounds of SB. It was pretty cool.
At the moment the Boxes are not weather proof. So when I set them up I take them in at night. But this is a bonus because if it’s multiple day showing I rearrange the footprint, making it a different experience. I do have plans to make a permanent version. As well as a 100 speaker version. I’m currently seeking funding for each. I hope to do one soon.