Balancing the Stone, 2016
mineral | sound | sauna
While in residence with Titanik Gallery (Turku, Finland), I lived amongst a rare collection of stones and minerals which are usually housed at the local university in glass cases. Ranging from specimens of sulfur and chromium to otherworldly pieces of copper and hematite, I developed a self-assembling sound-library of recorded musical gestures aimed at mimicking the seen and unseen geophysical features evident in each of the specimen's shape, smell, texture and taste. The sound-library was then performed daily alongside the minerals during the cold months of February and March, in the form of a multi-channel sound-sauna, perfumed with intensive audio-elements, which are re-combined ad infinitum into an alphabet of stone, or clouds of probable mists.
Pietari Skyttä of the University of Turku, Department of Geology and Geography, who helped locate and curate the stone/mineral specimens, as well as offer his own collection of thin-section slides to be filmed for the video pieces
Eero Linjama & Jukka Juvonen of the Arts Academie of Turku University, who helped provide access to orchestral timpani instrumentation for the composition, facilitated through the Turun Konservatorio
Jukka Pietila, Musical Director of Turun Tuomiokirkko (oldest cathedral in Finland)
What makes these minerals in particular intriguing is that they can also be found, albeit in trace amounts, within the human body. The sound-sauna aims at vibrating the space between mineral and micro-mineral. A reminder that which grows over millennia within the hearts of mountains, also flows within our bloodstream (iron), dusts our lungs (copper), lubricates our muscles (sulfur), and even keeps us upright (otolith crystals, or tasapainokivi)…. Balancing the Stone is a way to let the stones speak for themselves, not by giving them a voice, but by catalyzing a listening space inspired by their cellular structure that allows one to descend into their own bodily particles, making audible the echoing sparagmos of deep time within a pre-cosmological flux of matter.