PENANG, Malaysia -- The series of giant metallic tripods placed in front of the Dewan Sri Pinang event hall in George Town, the capital of the northwest Malaysian island of Penang, looks like a single line of eerie cranes in the soft evening light. Atop the structures are rotating arms equipped with loudspeakers and a set of lights at each end.
Just before sun set, the arms start spinning above the heads of many curious spectators, emitting a hypnotic siren call of precisely tuned musical pitches, while drawing mesmerizing red circles in the air. This is not science fiction, but "Chorus," an art installation mixing kinetic sculptures with a choir of sound machines. Created by award-winning British composer Ray Lee, it arrived in Penang as part of the eighth George Town Festival, one of Malaysia's -- and Asia's -- most acclaimed international arts festivals.