The Sounds of Earth _ 2020

Wooden Waves

Kansas City, MO
Photo Credit _ Hufft

When Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched into space in 1977, they both carried two phonograph records known as the Golden Record. A sort-of time capsule, the record contains a selection of sounds and images portraying the life and culture of Earth – a variety of sounds found in nature, music from multiple cultures, and spoken greetings in 55 languages, curated by a committee led by Dr. Carl Sagan. The intent was to give a glimpse of life on Earth should the Golden Record be discovered by extraterrestrial beings. A message from then-President Jimmy Carter said, “This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.”

We translated a portion of the Golden Record into an art piece for REVERB, Copaken Brooks’ new multi-family property in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District. Using a script, 21 of the record’s tracks were translated into sculpted soundwaves. The waves vary in length and movement dependent on the type of sound they represent. After multiple rounds of material testing, the final piece was CNC-routed on reclaimed wood and finished in our shop before on-site installation.