Images courtesy of Neon

Wind-powered musical instrument creates the sound of “500 galloping horses”

11 September 2017 | By Joe Quirke 0 Comments

A wind-powered musical instrument called “Cavalry 360°” has been built at Chesters Roman Fort, close to Hadrian's Wall in northern England.

The site-specific circular instrument, created by UK architect Neon, aims to mimic the sound of “500 cavalry members moving across the landscape”.

The instrument comprises 32 frame units, each of which holds a wind catching turbine and 15 beaters. Each beater represents a single horse with the total number representing the cavalry “ala” that used to be based at the fort.

The frame units are paired to represent a “turma”, a cavalry unit in the Roman army comprised of 30 horses.

Each wind-catching turbine has three arms each with a large cup on the end, which are designed to suggest the movement of horses’ hooves.

The beaters flick against a wooden block in a rhythmic fashion to create its sound. As the wind speed increases, the imaginary horses appear to be moving from a trot to a gallop. As the wind shifts in direction, different catchers are activated, giving the sense of the horses moving around a landscape.

Neon say: “The experience is designed around emphasising the way horse changed our ability to travel greater distances, and at greater speeds than ever before.  

“The circular form creates an experience much like being in a room with a surround sound stereo system where the soundscape is constantly altering in direction and rhythm.”

Images courtesy of Neon