​​​​​​​​​​​Arizona Science Center

Suncatchers​​

 

 

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ARTIST:   Bill & Mary Buchen
DATE:   1997​
LOCATION:  AZ Science Center
TYPE:   Sculpture
MATERIALS: Steel & Holographic Glass   
BUDGET:   $125,000
DISTRICT:   8
ZIP CODE:   85004​


​​SunCatchers are described by the artists as giant musical instruments that create shimmering, ringing harmonics. SunCatchers is a series of five outdoor sculptural objects designed to reflect sunlight and create harmonic musical sounds as they spin in the wind.   Mounted on poles, each object includes a propeller, a triangular vane of holographic glass, and a mallet and tone bar.  As the wind blows, the rotation of the propeller activates the mallet which strikes the tone bar causing it to play a note.  At the same time, the triangular glass prism vane shifts in the breeze, changing colors.  In the event the breezes are still, a turning ring allows visitors to turn the vanes themselves.


According to the artists, 'The experience is like moving through a sound field.  Each station spins out one note of a musical scale, generating a melodic ambiance as a counterpoint to urban drone." Each SunCatcher station is tuned to a pentatonic scale, and creates harmonic overtones in all directions.​