Volunteer for Life (VFL) Taylor is extremely creative, but even we were struck by her latest creation — a sound chandelier culled from various objects in and around the Library.
In fact, we were so struck, we interviewed about it! Here it goes…
I never heard of a sound chandelier. Can you describe them?
A sound chandelier is a decorative, hanging sound sculpture consisting of various levels of mostly up cycled material that is intended to create sounds when played.
When did you first discover them?
I have been a sculptor, maker and musician for nine (+) years. The sculptural work I produce always works to bring the ideas of music and art together- hence, sound sculpture! I have made many percussive instruments out of upcycled materials I called “Jangles” and had been working on larger scale sound sculpture ideas at the time.
The idea to create a sound chandelier appeared in such an unexpected way. I was in the audience during a sound-art performance in Reykjavik, Iceland by an idol of mine, Ragnar Kjartensson. We were on a city bus circling the outskirts of Reykjavik. In the middle of the bus was a large grand piano.
Above the grand piano in the ceiling of the bus was a glorious chandelier. As the bus drove an operatic performance commenced (yes, this was real). I kept getting distracted by the movement of the chandelier as the bus turned and moved throughout the aria. The chandelier was really abrasive and distracting, yet the inanimate object of class had so much character as it swayed. It was a hilarious juxtaposition to me.
The idea arose- I had to move forward to create a chandelier that made intentional sound with motion. You never know when ideas hit as long as you’re receptive. The idea has stuck and the process suits me. There is a series to come, that is for sure!
As for the operatic performer, he just exited the bus as soon as he was done and we moved on with the drive. I later met Ragnar Kjartensson at a show he held in San Francisco and was able to show him the creation I made responding to this experience! Such a great moment.
Can you walk me through how you created yours? What was the material?
I have two completed, and more in the works! The first I made with access to a jewelry studio. It is the result of large scale industry-line style production and took well over 250 hours to create- it holds over 75 pieces! From two types of handmade bells, three other layers of made objects, and a handmade aluminum flower base and four rings, the sound of the Musical Chandelier has been exclaimed to sound like earth.
Creating from found materials is important for me not only to keep the cost of production and sculpture at bay, but also to encourage environmentalism to others. A statement that was once a mundane object waiting to be thrown out could be significant in the grand scheme of things!
I have spent significant time at the Henry Miller Library. The space is incredible and inspiring, and I wanted to create a piece that I could leave behind to join the collection of art that adorns the space.
Making the chandelier from objects from the space itself was important to me- it would be the only way the chandelier would fit into the environment, completely! I sourced the materials from the grounds, the ping-pong balls were forever stuck on the roof, some of the items I saved from being tossed at the end of the annual Film Festival.
The base was the only thing I did not find at sight. When I was at the library I worked on the piece. It is now complete and up inside the library- it definitely feels like it is home!
Regardless if the chandelier is site-specific, the process is usually the same… I dream up a design, I look for the materials I could produce the pieces from and construct a way to make it happen. I start with the ornaments, usually hit an artist block as a result of how many pieces there are for a while, and gradually assemble. The process is tedious, but during the building, the repetitive nature allows my mind to shut off and layer by layer, with patience and balance, it comes together. It is a process that I am finding a pretty good metaphor for life.
Tell me more about your music!
Tay and the JangLahDahs is the name, Eclectic (Orchestral) Freak-Folk music is the extensive title to describe our genre-blending style.We have our debut album out on all platforms called “Bloomin'”.
We are a band of multi-instrumentalists. I am the front woman on drums, vocals and ukulele, and I have been backed up by four ; Greg Fogg (violin, guitar, vox), Mike Tiura (bass, vox), Eric Wilson (keys, guitar vox) and John “Shing” Clifford Fredericks. Tay and the JangLahDahs has been together for over 5 years.
I have been working on the songs for about 8 years. We have been playing and touring and making music videos! Throughout the pandemic we have recorded our upcoming album, “Here It Is” at Prarie Sun Studios, as well as making streaming shows and filming a Big Sur specific music video! We are just starting to book shows again and hope to make it to the library in the future to play again!
Find our website here: www.Janglahdahs.com