You know how when you hold a large parasol or beach umbrella you almost can't help twirling it? Well imagine how much fun it would be if the parasol had 48 LED spokes on the inside of it. Now imagine how much fun it would be it if were 28' in diameter, held 10-50' high in the night air by a boom lift...
Paraluna is an ambitious combination of kinetic sculpture LEDs, and music. Its main component is a disc 28’ in diameter, made of 48 aluminum spokes. Each spoke has 294-303 multi-color LEDs, for a total of 14,238 individually-controllable pixels. A computer controls the LEDs while rotating, raising, lowering, and tilting the disc.
Some of the LED patterns incorporate the rotation of the disk, creating spirals and radial shapes. Others make use of the rotation to create a persistence-of-vision effect - changing the color of each LED in sync with the rotation so that the image hovers in space above the spinning LEDs. A smaller piece called Mesmer
The computer program that controls the piece is LED Lab an iPad app that allows any image or video file to be used in creating animations. (City/country-specific imagery can be integrated into the performance.) This app is available on the Apple iTunes Store
The disc is connected to the end of a commercial boom-lift. This allows for all kinds of movement during performance, such as moving toward and away from the viewers. It also allows the disc to be tilted outward, so that the images can be seen at some distance.
Surrounding the disc are several high-quality speakers playing classical music at comfortable, yet immersive volume. A sequence of visual scenes is chosen to complement each musical piece. Ideally, Parasol is set up on grass so that visitors can sit or lie down as they gaze skyward into the disc. Like an earlier piece called Firmament
, Parasol creates a comfortable, peaceful place to be: