Brian Ransom’s Peace Deity

Last modified 8-12-2009

The Deities of Sound is a collection of over ten ceramic figures that produce wind tones. Ceramicist Brian Ransom created them based upon images that came to him in dreams.

Deities of Sound

Deities of Sound

They range from three to five feet in height and each has between four and eight wind-activated sound-producing mechanisms, carefully tuned to work in ensemble with one another. Several of them contain multiple chambers of water and air. When the figure tips from side to side, water runs from one chamber to the next, forcing air flows that give rise to sounds.

Brian’s work is informed by extensive research on the extraordinary Pre-Columbian ceramic wind instruments of South America, as well as African and Asian traditions. His article “The Enigma of Whistling Water Jars in Pre-Columbian Ceramics” appeared in the Experimental Musical Instruments quarterly journal, Volume 14 #1 (Sept 1998), illuminating these early American instruments, describing and diagramming their inner workings, and placing them in cultural context.

Many more photographs of his own instruments — stunningly beautiful, all of them — appear in his later article, “Journey Through Sound and Flame,” in Experimental Musical Instruments Volume 14 #4 (June 1999).

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