For about 15 years blacksmith John Little has been exploring and creating forged and fabricated steel sound sculptures. His object has been to create performance instruments unlike any other: instruments that cannot be tuned, that move in unpredictable sonic directions once set in motion by being plucked, struck or bowed, that challenge musicians and dancers to leave their comfort zones to explore entirely new directions.
nominated for Nova Scotia's Lieutenant-Governor's
Masterworks Arts Award 2006
In 2005 Little created Tectonic Shift (TS), a large (9 feet long, 7 feet high) forged and fabricated stainless steel sculpture/performance piece inspired by ruminations on the feel and sound of shifting tectonic plates deep in the earth. TS has been played in performance by many musicians in various venues over the past 4 years, in particular jazz percussionist Jerry Granelli and classically trained bass clarinetist Jeff Reilly.
The palette of sounds created within this instrument is complex and primordial and each performance confirms the audience's relation to the earth. TS is uniquely capable of launching audiences and musicians of different cultural and musical backgrounds comfortably on a musical adventure.
Unconnected to a specific discipline TS speaks the universal language of music consistently captivating audiences and facilitating an intercultural channel of communication.
video (1.5min./ 3mb)
Orakulus of Venus
height 6 feet
tower height 30 feet; bell height 6 feet, 1000 pounds
height 16 inches
Mary E. Black Gallery Sonic Gizmo
height 8 feet