Daniel Schmidt is an instrument builder, composer, musical director, and set designer. He is also an established Gamelan player and instructor. Schmidt received his BA in music Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, and his MFA in composition and Javenese music from California Institute of the Arts. He also completed three years of ethnomusicology at The Center for World Music He is currently a composer-in-residence at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley and is a teacher at both the Aurora School and Mills College.
Sound Column is a musical instrument inside a column of the rotunda of the Palace of Fine Arts. Five polished aluminum bars are mounted on a stand in the highly resonant 60-foot-high chamber. When struck with a mallet, the bars vibrate in tune with the architecture of the room, bouncing up and down to create a series of deeply echoey sounds of specific pitch. A ramp inside the column lets visitors experience the changes in the resonating sounds at various heights and a color-coded chart on the wall visualizes the sound waves.