Sound Portrait Sessions

P1320540

photo by Eduardo Abrantes

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?