Sound invades all – yes, sound invades architecture, spaces, rooms, houses; objects, materials, surfaces; cells, bodies, muscles, flesh; minds and thoughts, our spirits, our soul. Sound invades our ears, our skin, our feelings, our emotions. The best is, it is a language not based on logic and words. That is why we can enjoy even a song of which we do not understand a word because it is not sung in our language. Sound evades and invades, it oscillates. It is always in-between, oscillating, pulsating, swinging, vibrating. Even a word is not only the sound itself but also the meaning attached. Language oscillates between sound and meaning. Sound is like a ghost: it passes through closed windows or doors sometimes. Sound is medication, changing your mood in a moment. Sound is a warning, a prediction, a state. It is reality and imagination. The borders of sound are hard to draw. Its shape can be hard or soft, wide or narrow. But sound has a body, becomes a body, changes to another body, conquers your body or rearranges your flesh and muscles. Sound infects you, reflects, inspects, asks, externalizes your inside. It connects you to space in a different way.
TIME AND SPACE: SOUND, BODIES & ARCHITECTURE. EMBODIED LISTENING
If there is no ear, does a shell still sound? A shell is the perfect image for the relation between body and sIf there is no ear, does a shell still sound? A shell is the perfect image for the relation between body and space, architecture, for the act of listening. The sound we can hear reflected from the cavities of a shell changes with our movement. Likewise when we walk as bodies in a room filled with sound, we merge with our surroundings, sound enters us while we enter the body of sound. Space is imprinted on us and becomes part of us. We create space, we are space and space forms us, inhabits us. We are not separated from space, we and space are in a symbiotic relation molding each other constantly. Sound connects the void, the space in between. Sound is the immaterial entity vibrating between bodies and through bodies. Architecture is a body with organs and muscles, sustained by a vertebrae and contained by skin. Walls are skin, walls are a skeleton. If we walk inside a space, we are the bacteria inside a body, the walls become the skin and at the same time the exoskeleton we inhabit for a certain amount of time. Vibrations and resonance, feedback and touch, internal or external, connect us to our surroundings and our surrounding to us. Destruction is construction, is a reminder, is fleeting time, is transformation. Walls are full of scars, of histories, of memories. Space has a soul. A place without a meaning or function becomes a place out of time. Ruins become an internal horizon sculpting our mind, giving us a glimpse of the vastness of existence between life and death.
Thoughts about sound installations:
Thinking, I came across two type of installations on how to classify my artistic practice, which are: deepsound or surfacesound installations. These categories originate from my way of experimenting with sound in two different ways. Surfacesounds are the sonic phenomena that occur when materials are played and excited trough vibration, their surfaces and hollow spaces being activated. Deepsounds refer to sound that excites and interacts with architecture or an open environment, entering in a symbiotic relation with its surrounding. Surfacesound are sculptural installations. Deepsound relates to site-specific works where the site becomes an important part of the work itself. Both installations work spatially and I am often interested in the creation of atmospheres. The body of the spectator and his physical movement remain very important in both types of installations, in which sonic environments are discovered trough motion. Surfacesound installations form orchestras of sounding objects which act as instruments, in deepsound installations the architecture is the instrument. I am interested in the connection of body, movement and sound. As experience for the perceiver it is important for me to offer ways of reconnecting to our physical bodies. Starting from here I also developed performances where a performer moves spatially emitting sounds, as a different way to explore the acoustics of architecture, but I am more concerned about activating the bodies of the visitors than having moving bodies around them. Reflected in the outer space we may find our inner space, inviting us to deeper inward listening, here I may be inspired by Pauline Oliveros Deep Listening practices.
There could be a third type of sonic interventions in the public space, characterised by the uncertainty of events of a work that is less object or architecture related, becoming performatic in the sense of belonging and being exposed to a public body with its own dynamics and tensions. The urban space is a fluid and constantly changing environment, a flexible place where the public body intervenes in unforeseen ways.