TORSO#1

kinetic audio-video-light-sculpture _ live-performance / installation _ 2018

TORSO explores variations on accelerating and decelerating sound sources. The first version of TORSO (#1) received the golden Nica for digital music and soundart at the Ars-Electronica Festival in 2019 – an interview with Peter Kutin can be found HERE

SYNPOSIS

Four 100V speakers rotate on a biaxial structure with a diameter of 2.5 meters. This sculpture loosely refers to a klopotec – a type of bird-scaring windmill found in central Europe – from which Kutin drew inspiration. By amplifying these rotating speakers, the emitted sonic signals and feedback travel within the space in an unfamiliar, yet strange and multidimensional manner. The sounds have been designed specifically for this unique system to maximise its psychoacoustic effects. Kutin therefore composes with feedback-patterns as well as abstractions of the human voice – working with the soprano singer Johanna Baader – a reference  to the human-made environment behind the technical facade. Static microphones simultaneously transmit the sculpture’s movement via a much larger quadrophonic PA system: the sonic movements can be perceived both horizontally and vertically at once, creating a wholly unorthodox listening experience. Rotation speed, acceleration, deceleration and amount of feedback are the key parameters for this instrument, and Kutin’s virtuos orchestration leads to  bizarre movements of sonic fractals, feedback-patterns, and noise bursts that provoke otoacoustic emissions and other auditory illusions emanating from within the ear of the listener itself.
Flanked by flickering and pulsating lights, TORSO reaches lucid and hallucinatory heights. Visitors have described the concert experience as like exposure to an “expanded Dreamachine” – referring to the influential stroboscopic flicker device first developed by artist Brion Gysin. Kutin takes this concept to a different level as he explores how rotating soundsources can influence and manipulate our way of listening and how they could excite the acoustics of the performance space. (Tristan Bath)