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Messa di Voce (Fluid)

by Tmema (Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman), Jaap Blonk and Joan La Barbara


Performances and installations Messa di Voce involve interactions of human speech, body movements and images.  The performers stand in front of a screen and when they make sounds a colored plasma appears on the screen just like it comes out of their mouths. Depending on the sound's characteristics and the performers' movements a certain changing picture evolves on the screen.

Interaction and rules

The performer has control over several aspects of the flow behaviour:

  • direction, speed and length of the flow is control by performers hands gesturing and body leaning
  • texture  - can be created by the sharp consonant sounds like 'zzzz'
  • color - 'aaa' gives a reddish color, 'zhzhzhz' gives blue and brighter 'eee' gives yellow and green etc.
  • curliness of the flow could be controlled by the sound quality too, but it is hard to tell

The performance is a dialogue, which means it could only be two people acting at a time.

Audience cannot interact with the system, only sees the result of the performers.
Actors are two performers standing in front of one of the two sides the screen is split into.
Physical space is limited to the corresponding half of the screen for each performer. They also need to stand close to the screen so it would look more like the fluid is coming out of their mouth.
Interaction time could probably be unlimited, but since it is a performance I would expect to never exceed 20 minutes.
Rule set dynamics is static, the rules do not change.
Inputs are the sound performers produce which are recorded by the microphones they carry; plus the images (video) recorded by, I would think, two cameras for each half of the screen. It is all done in the dark so that the silhouettes of actors can be easily spotted by the tracking system.
Outputs are the resultant video with fluids moving in the space on the whole screen together and the sounds actors are singing or saying.


We can never see the sound. That is where the idea of Messa de Voce comes from. They want to explore and discuss in their performances what kind of forms could the voice and sounds take if they were to be visible. The purpose of Messa de Voce performances is to make the audience think in a new, perceptual ways about the sound.

Mapping Chopin

by Pawel Janicki


In the interactive space Mapping Chopin audience is offered to take a small part in music creating without playing instruments or doing anything structure related. Chopin piano music is played when people enter the environment. Depending on the participants behavior/movements music passages length and pace can be modified.

Interaction and rules

Interaction occurs when audience enter the floor of installation, where the floor represents music scores as music goes through them. Any number of people could be on the floor at a time.

Tempo of the music is directly related to how fast the participants are moving. Length of the passage can be controlled by entering and exiting the floor. Dynamic range is also controlled by the way the participants are moving, but that connection is not very obvious.

Audience could be people standing around the floor or the people taking part in the interaction.
Actors are the people moving on the floor.
Physical space is the blue floor that has two parts: the piano key, that shows what notes are being played at a moment and the space that is an abstract visualization of music scores that are being played. Everything else is dark in the room so people seen as almost black figures can be easily detected on the blue screen.
Interaction time goes on until a participant is in the floor space of the installation.
Rule set dynamics rules adjust to the number of people there is in the environment.
Inputs must be the images of the floor and people on it taking from the top.
Outputs is the music that is playing out of four speakers situated on each corner of the floor. The quality of sound is made to be as close to the 'natural' piano as possible so that it gives the audience a closer connection to the music and a sense of direct control over it.


The idea behind Mapping Chopin is to give people a chance to explore in an intuitive environment how the music is created using Chopin piano music as an example.