(score excerpt)



Klangkörper is a non-visual performance combining a surround sound and touch choreography interacting together.


There is a choreography of touch interventions made by the performers directly on the body of the visitor (who is the primary stage of the performance); the movements of the sounds within the room (the secondary performance space) are choreographed in surround through a multi-channel speaker setup (in quadraphony).





The piece uses as a starting point a sound-touch translation process first developed for sections of Pièce Touchée no 2 (2010). Borrowing from those experiments, sound parameters (like loudness, duration, timber, pitch, energetic profile) are translated into touch parameters (pressure, duration, body location, temperature, friction, dryness/wetness etc.) and mapped on the body, proposing a "synesthetic" translation of the sound on the body of the visitor.


In Pièce Touchée no 2, the musical process explored was mostly based on a unison relationship between touch and sound. A haptic translation happened simultaneously, in synchronicity with the sounds heard. Otherwise sound or touch were performed alone, or one after the other. There were simultaneous events and counterpoint within the touch interventions and within the music, but the touch- sound relationship was basically homophonic, one of unison.


Klangkörper experiments with more complex composition devices.
 A dialogue relationship is created between sound and touch. Besides synchronous translation and silent sound translation, the pieces presents also alternating dialogues:


-touch phrases answer musical phrases, also answering locations and directions in the surround space with locations on the body (producing an antiphonic relationship).

-Sounds and touch also accompanying each other, rather than translating each other, their relationship being carefully calculated (complementing, cueing or opposing each other).

-Starting from a “translation” relationship, the sounds and their haptic translation are played in an out of sync (or in and out of phase), a compositional device known from minimalistic music.


The sound track and the haptic choreography are not meant to be two independent, self-sufficient parts. They are intertwined, have a dialogue with each other, and function only together. Touch becomes music, and the sound becomes a form of touch.



Choreography, Sound: Kenji Ouellet

Performance: Katharina Weinhuber, Kenji Ouellet



Press/Visitors comments:


“A meditative experience, where the sounds reverberate in the skin and shivers are tuned to the sound vibrations.”


“A fascinating experience combining the senses, the idea of space, listening and presence. Creates another relationship to art.”


“Something in space? An alien abduction? Felt like you were otherworldly creatures trying to tell me something”.


“At times the touch felt so connected to the music that you cannot separate (the sound) from the performer.”


“The piece establishes deep trust between complete strangers. “


“An opportunity to remember that I have a body. Thank you!”