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Sonic Vibrations #3: The Body of Sound

Spektrum Berlin
Event organized by Spektrum Berlin

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Doors: 19:00
Lecture/presentation on Bodily Form of Music: 19:30
Performances by M.Donnarumma & T.Adachi: 20:30
Entrance: 5 €

In The Body of Sound, the paradigm of comprehending this matter is literally reversed. Why not the sound of body? Involving their body as a part of the musical instrument, invited artists, while acting on sound, are far from just sonifing their body movements. On the other way around, they are struggleling in order to access on the vibrational essence of their work through a bodily form, shaping their movement to achieve the physicality of sound by including the totality of their body. As primordial can be and deep in the notion of physical presence, the body is disassembled, ritualized, rethought.

Sonic Vibrations is a series of hybrid events presenting scientific and technological research applied to sound-art, new musical instruments and installation art in form of exhibitions, conferences and live acts. Principles of Physics, Mathematics, Biology, Psychoacoustic, Body Anatomy and so on are used by artists creating media works which are pushing the definition of cross-disciplinary boundaries between technology and science applied to vibrational art. Curated by Alfredo Ciannameo


The performance embodies, before the audience, the metaphor of an invisible and unknown object enclosed in the performer’s hands. The object is made of malleable sonic matter. Similarly to a mime, the performer models the object in the empty space by means of whole-body gestures.

By using the new musical instrument XTH Sense, the bioacoustic sound produced by the contractions of the performer’s muscles is amplified, digitally processed and played back through eight subwoofers and loudspeakers. The natural sound of the performer’s muscles and its virtual counterpart blend together into an unstable sonic object. The object oscillates between a state of high density and one of violent release. As the listeners imagine the object’s shape by following the performer’s gesture, the sonic stimuli induce a perceptual coupling.

The listeners see through sound the sculpture which their sight cannot perceive. The piece uses the XTH Sense biocreative instrument. This consists of custom wearable biosensors and a digital framework for real-time processing of acoustic biosignals, both developed by the author. Muscle fibres and blood vessels produce subcutaneous mechanical oscillations (i.e. acoustic sounds). These are captured by the XTH Sense by means of chip microphones and fed to a computer in real time. The machine deploys mathematical and learning models to understand and interact with the muscular activity of the performer’s body.

The performer produces the sound material by contracting his limbs and the computer diffuses the processed sounds of the performer’s body through an octophonic audio system. All sound manipulations, spatialisation, rhythm and structure of the piece are defined in real time by the physical behaviour of the performer on stage.

TOMOMI ADACHI: Voice and Infrared Sensor Shirt/Another Ear Stretching/3D Characters

Adachi talks and performs about a physicality of language and notation, which extends in tactility and invisibility. His original physical interface amplifies the relation between utterance and gesture, 3D printed literature project shifts the perception of language to tangibility and imaginary sounds. The performances include his video notation for audience and his self-made physical interface.

A unique presence across contemporary performance and media art, Marco Donnarumma distinguishes himself by his use of emerging technology to deliver artworks that are at once intimate and powerful, oneiric and uncompromising, sensual and confrontational. Working with biotechnology, biophysical sensing, as well as artificial intelligence (AI) and neurorobotics, Donnarumma expresses the chimerical nature of the body with a new and unsettling intensity. He is renown for his focus on sound, whose physicality and depth he exploits to create experiences of instability, awe, shock and entrainment. In 2018, Marco has been awarded at the Prix Ars Electronica with his body+sound art project 'Corpus Nil', premiered in 2016 in Spektrum.


Tomomi Adachi is a performer/composer, sound poet, instrument builder and visual artist. Known for his versatile style, he has performed his own voice and electronics pieces, sound poetry, improvised and contemporary music, also presented site-specific compositions, compositions for classical ensembles, choir pieces for untrained musicians in all over the world including Tate Modern, Maerzmusik, Centre Pompidou, Poesiefestival Berlin and Walker Art Center. He has been working with a wide range of materials; self-made physical interfaces and instruments, brainwave, artificial satellite, twitter texts and even paranormal phenomenas. He was a guest of the Artists-in-Berlin Program of the DAAD for 2012.


Sonic Vibrations Series has been kindly supported by Musikfonds & Re-Imagine Europe (cofinanced by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union).