In addition to the presentation of music videos, costumes, and other creative material, the Björk retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York shows some of the instruments that were used for creating her music. Among them are the Gravity Harps (2011) by Brooklyn-based sculptor Andy Cavatorta, on display in the Gund Lobby of the museum.
The Gravity Harps use the Earth’s gravity to create music. While gravity sets the rhythms and stores the energy, robotic technologies provide initial energy and synchronization. The Gravity Harps were used on Björk’s Biophilia album and in the live shows on tour around the world. They are the product of a collaboration between Björk and Andy Cavatorta: “Björk had a vision for a musical version of The Foucault Pendulum. She had a harp-like timbre in mind. And she’d already written a beautiful, floating song for it, with an unusual scale and freely drifting time signatures.” as Andy Cavatorta explains on his website, where he also describes the evolution of the Gravity Harps.
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Andy Cavatorta: Gravity Harps, 2011: Walnut, spruce tonewood, poplar, aluminum, harp, strings, motors, sensors, electronics and software. 126 × 24 × 24″ (320 × 61 × 61 cm)