Theremin

interactive sound installation (2015)
@ Irokéz Gallery, Szombathely, Hungary

Created in collaboration with Zsófia Sztranyák and Katalin Tesch.  

The Theremin is a sound installation for one to four players simultaneously. Four pressure plate switches are placed in a circle, and are connected to a computer via an arduino. The switches react on steps: every time someone stands up on any of them, a female voice starts to play. The pitches she “sings” in loop are tones of a certain arabic musical sequence, the kurd tetrachord. Depending on how many people and for how long play at a time, an endlessly transforming, eternal chanting is created.

Non-verbal communication is a crucial part of social relations in the Arabic culture. Strict rules defines most of the everyday actions, for instance singing is not allowed for everyone at anytime in public. Similarly to the sound composition, the visual elements of our installation are based on the Arabic heritage too. The four walls made of tulle may evoke the image of a burka. Our project lets us “sing” without opening our mouths, by only stepping on a rug and looking at the other player, in front of us.

The installation was created for the OFF Biennale – the first politically independent art festival in Hungary.

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