WHITE CIRRUS – TUNGEDREVET #1 (Copenhagen, Denmark, 2017)

Titled in a oblique reference to a “genus of atmospheric cloud generally characterized by thin, wispy strands, giving the type its name from the Latin word cirrus, meaning a ringlet or curling lock of hair” (quote retrieved from the never unreliable Wiki), this piece is the first of a collection of compositions built upon live voice processing and manipulation. It might also seek inspiration from a meteor fragment framed on the wall – a white cirrus navigator of sorts, cutting a cooling burning trail across the sky under which we happen to live through our days.
Few things expose one more intensely to scrutiny and self-awareness than opening one’s mouth. Speaking in public, speaking to oneself, doubting one’s sanity or singing in the shower, our voice (if we have it) is the truest multi-tool. In the worlds of sound, voice is a borderless kingdom of vast property – it is also the only instrument that can die. White Cirrus is part of Tungedrevet (“Tongue-driven”) a series of compositions where the mouth pushes the sound waves into an processing array, sometimes loosing its recognizability altogether. Onto the listener, the one who lingers on the other side, it emerges as a metamorphic presence. Hopefully.

(photo credit: Eduardo Abrantes)

SOUND PORTRAIT SESSIONS (Copenhagen, Denmark, 2016)

Sound fascinates me in many ways. It is both tangible and immaterial – like human relationships.

It is vibration – our shaking body among other shaking bodies – it can animate the inanimate, it can be felt in the gut, in the hand flat against a wall, or barely perceived by the ear as a distant signal in the limits of space – above, below, behind and all around. It is complex as process yet immediate in our response – again, just like human relationships.

As a sound artist, one of the main driving forces in my work is the radical physicality and subtle tangibility of the sonic encounter with the other, as well as the multiplicity of the situations in which it might occur.

My practice is built around site-specificity, situation and curiosity. Therefore, it deals with the concrete circumstances where a meeting takes place; with the choreography of intentions as a collaborative aspect; with the intimacy, the awareness of the other, the awareness of the “we”, and the grasping of the unique encounter.

The Sound Portrait Sessions are seven compositions gathered from the sonic material recorded and exchanged during seven individual encounters, which took place at Projektrum Vera during June 2016. In each of these encounters – with Kamilla A., Cecilie O., Ingrid V., Johanne A., Louisa Y., Peter V., and Lucía M. – we talked, listened, hummed, breathed, walked, moved, in short, engaged with each other sonically. A list of some of our shared sound actions can be found here. The sounds collected via mono, stereo, and binaural microphones became the raw material used to create seven individual soundscapes, between 6 to 10 minutes each.

The initial idea was spun from wondering about the specific kind of encounter which is the portrait situation. One of the broadest categories of artistic production, the portrait has, over the centuries, been thoroughly re-invented, from painting through to sculpture, from photography to video-art, from performance to post-dance and beyond.

In our mind’s eye we might see the painter sitting half-hidden behind his or her easel. The model stands in front, on the other side of the canvas, in the spotlight – sitting or standing as still as can be, nude or propped with an ellaborate costume. The subject-object relationship in this ideal…

However, how could/should the setting be if a sound portrait was to be attempted. Which methods? Which situation? Which kind of encounter would this be?

UNPAIRED GLOVES (Stockholm, Sweden, 2016)

Unpaired Gloves – 5# in “Some Days Series” – a series of short situated sound experiments. Stockholm, March 2016. (headphones required for full binaural experience)

Gloves unpaired at the edge of the woods. Left behind by someone. Picked up by someone else and propped on low tree branches, waiting in plain sight. Like second skins, from metamorphosed distracted wanderers. Also, a song from a memory of a song heard – Portishead’s “It’s A Fire” – layering vocal rituals with the deep binaural situation of body becoming surface and friction.

(photo credit: Eduardo Abrantes)

SISTER BROTHER AGATHA DARKNESS (Stockholm, Sweden, 2016)

photo by Eduardo Abrantes - Kärrtorp, Stockholm, 2015

Sister Brother Agatha Darkness – 4# in “Some Days Series” – a series of short situated sound experiments. Stockholm, March 2016.

Faux-goth sensibilities fractured by 4am introspection. Sister Brother Agatha Darkness moves between dense social atmospheres and the off-beat suspenseful instinct for interruption. As a sound body it lurks, ritually gasping in tangible shyness and awkward self-awareness, while basking in cinematic associations. It is about subtle exhibitionism and wearing proudly one’s garland of imperfections.

(photo credit: Eduardo Abrantes)

OUTSIDE IN – INSPLAB III (Næstved, Denmark, 2016)

OUTSIDE IN – INSPLAB III (Næstved, Denmark, 2016)

Participation in Cantabile2’s Inspirationslaboratorium III – a collective exploration of creativity in the hybrid context of theatre, performance and live art. Outside In is a soundscape composed by the play between voice and the acoustic site-specificity of the landscape. It features vocal improvisation by Christine Borch (DK), poetic fragments gathered from Mary Elizabeth Frye’s 1932 piece “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep”, and the binaural wanderings through the Grønnegade Teater surrounding area, with its life rhythms of farm animals and rich textures of the land. It was performed together with live sound improvisation, in both group explorations and intimate sensorial refocusing for a small audience.

SING-A-LONGING (Mooste/Tartu/Tallinn, Estonia 2015)

SING-A-LONGING (Mooste/Tartu/Tallinn, Estonia 2015)

Performative sound piece composed from a local choir recording at Mooste and vocal fragments collected from passersby in the streets of Tartu, Estonia, between 16-26 March 2015. Performed at the Crossing Contexts NSU Winter Session at Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Tallinn, Estonia. Sing-a-longing was inspired by a radical notion of “site specific” engagement, as the intimate sound field available in direct memory recall, and by the role of choral singing in Estonia’s recent political history, namely the series of events known as the “Singing Revolution”, taking place between 1987-1991, the period leading to the independence of the Baltic states.

TWO IN TRANSIT (Stockholm, Sweden 2013)

TWO IN TRANSIT (Stockholm, Sweden 2013)

Two In Transit is an artistic experiment on the interplay between two voices and the surrounding acoustic environment, while in motion. Two vocal performers (Ylva Fred and Sara Franceschi) engage with each other as they make their way through the shifting urban landscape of Stockholm, riding their bikes, struggling with harmony, their own physicality and the balance between distraction and concentration in relation to the ever-present sound world of the public space. Two In Transit deals with the possibility of heightened awareness through sonic participation and the challenge of instability, both bodily and acoustic. Two In Transit was recorded, while performed in motion, using binaural microphones and an external stereo source. It was produced in the context of the LUR Levande Urban Radio project, a series of sound art pieces dealing with improvisation in the urban environment, within the IN SITU research group, coordinated by artist Monica Sand (SE) and architect Ricardo Atienza (ES/SE), and based at the Arkitektur- och designcentrum in Stockholm, Sweden.