Sunflower Project lead investigator Barry Hill is looking forward to seeing solar power make an appearance at the Woodford Folk Fetsival. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Sunflower Project lead investigator Barry Hill is looking forward to seeing solar power make an appearance at the Woodford Folk Fetsival. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

Solar sunflower creates music using sunlight

THE famous Lismore solar sunflower has been making its way around festivals since it launched in 2013, but in a first it will soon be used to create music.

The Sunflower will feature at the Woodford Folk Festival Hilltop stage, powering music performances as it does so well.

But this time it will also get to take a lead role.

Lead investigator on the project, Barry Hill, said using the relationship between the sun and the solar panels, different sounds can be generated to create sound-scapes.

"The amount of power we generate and the amount of power we use is going to influence the sound you hear," he said.

"It's quite nice in the morning when the sun rises ... you actually have this evolving sound-scape as the sun hits the panels."

The Sunflower audio system is a Southern Cross University-led project.

Dr Hill, who is the senior lecturer of the university's music program, said students took a lead role in the project in an attempt to break down barriers between science and art while providing them with invaluable real-life experiences.

"This project was conceived as a project that would engage students with this technology and also be a vehicle for students to start working in the community," he said.

"Basically the whole project (at Woodford) will be run by student volunteers. I'll just be there as a coordinator.

"The project is not necessarily about developing new technology ... it's about trying to engage the community with solar power in an innovative and creative way."

Dr Hill will also be giving a presentation about the Sunflower at the festival's Greenhouse venue on December 27 at 2.25pm.



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