Noctilucent (Plus-) Part 1

Ying Wang - Noctilucent (Plus-) Part 1 (2018)
for double bell trumpet and video

Marco Blaauw, double bell trumpet
Daniel Althausen, video artist screen projection

Janet Sinica, video/editing
Julius Gass, recording producer/editing

„Noctilucent (Plus -)” is the second part of the Media opera “Plus Minus”. This opera asks questions about how a possible future without humans on earth would be like and how it could possibly sound like. But also what processes, what actions could lead us there. The complete exhaustion of natural resources? An overuse of the planet leading to our vanishing? Or will there be a change and things will turn out very differently?
What lies at the end? Positive or negative? Good or evil? A daily decision, leading to +/-

„Noctilucent (Plus -)” takes a closer look at our busy constantly moving cities and how they would be like without people. Does a city lose its sound characteristics if all people are gone? Is there a non-human sound that is also part of places so extensively shaped by humans? What about all the non-human beings in a city? What will the insects, dogs and cats will sound when all humans are gone? What will the pigeons do?

„Noctilucent (Plus -)” goes through various stages of imagining this abandoned city at night. Slowly dawn merges with the black of the night and for a while all is still and lost in darkness. At first the city is completely quiet and haunting. Then, out of broken windows, open doors, and overgrown bushes a choir of nightly insects are starting to hum and vibrate as they start to sing. They are heading out in all directions, exploring the city and soon every corner of the city will be filled with their sounds. The city is all theirs now. But then a faint bright shade appears at the sky, like luminous otherworldly clouds, “night shining”. While the sun is already underneath the horizon, some distant remnants of sunrays are shining on ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. Nature presents its own fascinating light show. Out of those slowly moving fields of light a new, even more colorful light pattern emerges. The polar light is hovering above us now. No light pollution can weaken it, so it is more intense than ever before and its steadily shifting and moving shapes seem completely unpredictable to us. The lights are getting richer and more colorful. More and more animals are awake now and venture out in this colorful darkness. The insect choir is now joining into flickering of the polar light. They directly react to the light in the sky. Moments later, the plants are also adjusting their heads and leaves and start to reflect this light, as if they would harvest it. New unseen colors emerge out of this interacting with the polar light. A constantly changing shimmer is now on every house wall, spectrally divided by broken glass and mirrors all possible colors can be found throughout the city. Chimeraian shapeshifting shades are following us in every step. Until slowly in the early morning the first sunbeams of the day are gradually changing everything again and are bringing the piece to an end.

“Noctilucent” describes a phenomenon in the upper atmosphere, when ice crystals are shined upon from a certain angle by the sun already underneath the horizon. Almost otherworldly looking Cloud-like light effects can be observed then.

Ying Wang