Lyme Park, Peak District (National Trust)

Drumbeats echoed across Lyme Park last week, and on the distant horizon, flashing bespoke LED lighting lit up the woods in time to their rhythm. The drums and the lights were the inspiration of artist Sean Griffiths, who’d been given the task of devising a piece of interactive artwork which would link different parts of Lyme Park’s landscape together.

The result is Distant Drumbeat, as Sean explains: “The idea was to use a stone folly, The Lantern which is situated in Lantern Wood. Lights set up inside the Lantern would be viewed and activated by a contemporary ‘lantern’ on Lyme’s top lawn. Visitors then gaze straight at the original Lantern half a mile away in the wood and strike a series of drum ‘pads’. Once struck, the Lantern will light up, according to the rhythm of the striker. In other words, you’ll literally be ‘playing the landscape’”.

“Technically this was a huge challenge as there was no electricity in the Lantern and no mobile phone signal on that part of the estate. With amazing technical support of Intecho they eventually designed hardware and software to turn the drum beat into a signal. They then used a microwave signal to send the drumbeats up to the Lantern which then triggered the bespoke LED lighting which is mounted on a scaffold inside the Lantern.”

 

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