Art interacts with nature's soundtrack


It's hard to imagine a forest with chirping birds, frogs and howling wolves in the middle of the desert. But one appeared during the weekend in the form of 16 8-foot-tall aluminum cylinders.

Christopher Janney's Sonic Forest, emitting animal and musical sounds, was among the interactive art installations at Coachella.

Thousands of festgoers walked through the "urban musical instrument," in which the shiny cylinders are hooked up to 64 sensors connected to speakers. When coming into human contact, the sensors set off sounds Janney has been collecting for decades from around the world.

"Within the forest, there is interaction," said Janney, whose goal is to inter-relate architecture with sound. "And the sounds are open score, so they're never played the same way twice."

Some followed the sounds from cylinder to cylinder, while others sat around the 80-pound concrete bases or laid down to listen. (partialdiff)