PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State University Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is proud to present the exhibition “Trimpin: Ambiente432.” This ongoing exhibition will be on view in the Pavilion Gallery of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU and will begin Jan. 14. As always, all exhibitions at the museum are free and open to the public.

In 2018, the museum commissioned Trimpin, a ground-breaking composer and sculptor, to design and create a major new work for the WSU community. “Ambiente432” debuted at the inauguration of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and has now entered the museum’s permanent collection. This January the work will be restaged in the gallery space it was originally designed for.

Comprised of 12 motion-responsive resonator horns suspended from the ceiling and organized in strategic configurations, this site-responsive installation explores the sound-space continuum, demonstrating how an architectural environment may coexist and harmonize with a kinetic sound sculpture. Like much of his previous work, Trimpin’s installation combines ancient methods with scientific principles and 21st‑century technology. “Ambiente432” is tuned precisely to 432Hz. Known as Verdi’s ‘A’, this vibration frequency recurs in the tuning of ancient Tibetan singing bowls, Stradivarius instruments, and 20th‑century physicist W. O. Schumann calculated the Earth’s rhythms at a cycle close to the fundamental frequency of 432Hz. “Ambiente432” is ‘played’ by visitors themselves as they move through and activate the space, impacting their own immersive spatial and aural experience.

Trimpin (left) and a museum curator install Ambiente432 at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU.
Trimpin (left) and a museum curator install “Ambiente432” at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU.

Trimpin, who goes only by his last name, was born in Germany, in 1951, near the Black Forest. He spent several years living and studying in Berlin, working as a set designer and collaborating with artists from both Germany and the United States. He has worked and lived in Seattle since 1979. Trimpin received a MacArthur “Genius” award and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for his investigations of acoustic music in a spatial relationship, both in 1997. He received an honorary doctorate in musical arts from California Institute of the Arts in 2010. In 2016, the Seattle Symphony collaborated with Trimpin to commission a site-specific installation, original composition, and one‑time‑only presentation entitled “Above, Below, and In Between.”

Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU

The museum was established in 1973 and reopened in 2018 as the new Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Washington State University. Uniquely positioned to transform arts access across the entire Pacific Northwest and beyond, the museum harnesses the combined power and commitment of the WSU multi-campus system and the Schnitzer Constellation of university art museums and collection centers to fulfill the educational mission of WSU in teaching, research, and service.

A beacon for the arts, the museum brings preeminent national and international artists to the WSU community. Our audiences are connected intimately to the best in life-enriching, forward-thinking art. Since 2018, exhibited artists have included Jeffry Mitchell, Marie Watt, Kate Gilmore, Mark Bradford, Wangechi Mutu, Louise Bourgeois, Kyle Abraham, Chiho Aoshima, and Polly Apfelbaum. In tandem to the museum’s exhibition program is the Collection Study Center. The CSC is a repository of carefully selected artworks and documents, preserved and made accessible; a historical record of visual culture; but most importantly, a tool toward learning and deepened experience.

A tour group underneath Ambiente432, an art installation at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU is located in the Crimson Cube (on Wilson Road across from Martin Stadium and the CUB) on the WSU Pullman campus. The hours of our six galleries are Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., closed Sunday and Monday. For more information please contact the museum at 509‑335‑1910.

Funding has been provided by the Samuel H. & Patricia W. Smith Arts Endowment Fund, and the Members of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU.

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