Singing Rocks

IDEA: Repaired with gold, these broken rocks sing when touched.

WHAT: Songsmith (Cradle of Humankind) repairs ancient, fractured rocks following a method based on the Japanese art and philosophy of Kintsukuroi1. By combining this golden repair with technology and sound a songsmith will resonate when touched. This allows each rock to sing of the land wherein it has uniquely existed for millennium. Their song is generated from the raw electro-magnetic readings captured from beneath each rock’s original resting place on the Khatlhampi Private Reserve situated within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Cradle of Humankind2. Each songsmith acts as a time capsule imbued by a place in time, connecting the present with the site’s ancient history. 

Each songsmith's song was captured with electro-magnetic readings from beneath each rock's unique and original resting place. Their songs were created through the use of site-specific Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) data that she captured with geophysicists. The unedited GPR frequency pattern was brought intuitively into an audible pitch based on the weight of each rock resulting in a haunting 'wale song' that becomes the unique voice of each songsmith.

WHY: Songsmith (Cradle of Humankind) is part one of a three part series recording a triangle of ancient events that occurred in South Africa. This triad of events bear global significance to life, as we know it, on earth. The Songsmith (Cradle of Humankind) collection consists of ten unique sound sculptures.  Burchell is currently working towards creating songsmiths around the world as small but beautiful reminders for people to re-connect to each other and to the world around them by activating the exquisite cracks that narrate the beauty of life lived.

BY: Jenna Burchell