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Sounding Body

26-27 November 2016, OMEARA

In the eighteenth century, the body was thought to be comprised of resonant strings. Music vibrated them, shaking emotions and temperaments in time to its reverberations. Filthy Lucre explored the strange noises and mathematical constructions built on these Sounding Bodies. 

On Saturday 26th, we moved from installation to concert to gig, with a live music night being preceded by Jacob Kirkegaard’s sound art. On Sunday 27th, we presented Kirkegaard’s work alongside free workshops.

Concert, 26 November 2016

The concert opened with John Luther Adams’ Thunder from Mathematics of Resonant Bodies, a stunningly loud and resonant piece for low drums constructed in intricate polyphony. These works were performed alongside Julian Anderson’s Ring Dance, Jonathan Harvey’s tape piece, Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco and Globokar’s ?corporel, a violent piece for body that magnifies the natural resonance of the performer’s chest and skull in crackling detail. Experimental composer CHAINES was commissioned to create a new work for the event.

Alongside the principle players of the Filthy Lucre orchestra, the event featured the band Ex-Easter Island Head Playing solid-body guitars with mallets, they produce a unique sound by using familiar instruments in a new way. They played a set of their work and joined the ensemble for arrangements of math rock and Jean-Phillippe Rameau. Both integrate finely detailed, needle-sharp renderings of mathematical ideas with a striking strength of purpose and emotion.

Photos by Hubert Libiszewski

Installation & workshops, 27th November

The concert was presented with Labrinthitis, an installation by sound artist Jacob Kirkegaard. Kirkegaard explores the tones generated in the inner ear: spontaneous otoacoustic emissions. These sounds are produced without stimulation by some people’s ears.  Whereas the combinations of tones emitted from one ear can be dissonant, microtonal and complex, tones emitted from another ear  might be harmonious and 'in tune'. Each ear produces something akin to an acoustic fingerprint. Through Kirkegaard’s intimate aural recordings, we can hear our own hearing.

Labyrinthitis works with otoacoustic emissions generated by the artist’s ears to produce otoacoustic emissions in the ears of the listeners. Critic Manuel Abreu describes the experience: ‘At a loud volume, the piece seems to turn one's ears into a bright resonant magnet, sound buzzing ticklishly out of it’.

Kirkegaard explained this process in a free workshop on Sunday 27th. Attendees had their ears recorded and explored the sounding body inside their ears. Percussionist George Barton performed Globokar’s ?corporel and discussed how this strange work uses the sounds of our bodies

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