Written by Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri-
As part of Papalexandris study of the relationship between friction and sound in space, she created Duo for Motor and Sound Panels, a site-specific performative installation, commissioned by Hidden Mother and supported by a Swedish Arts Council grant. The work premiered at the Vindöga Festival, Sandviken, Sweden.
In Duo for Motor and Sound Panels, each performer holds a black foam board (resonator) similar to the ones that were used in Square, that is loosely secured and connected with twine to a rosined motor-driven mechanism to create friction.The visual of the twine that looks tattered and frayed is part of the piece. This configuration invites us to listen attentively and see the production of sound, the movement of the twine between the surface and the mechanical device. The surface, which in this case is a rectangular piece of cardboard, serves as membrane, instrument, and resonator all at once. The slow-moving rosined wheel produces the sounds while the performers revolve around the motor mechanism. By modulating the tension of the twine or applying pressure to different directions and areas of the resonator, the performer can alter the sound. With this construction process, Papalexandri investigates a dynamic spatialization in which the human behaves as a mechanism, similar to a clock (precision, accuracy, dynamic control). The actual size and dimensions of a specific object, or space, can affect the length of the string that runs through the foam board. Recently, Switch Ensemble performed Duo for Motor and Sound Panels at Cornell’s Barnes Hall, the Ensemble Container in Basel (online concert), and Hidden Mother at Sweden’s Kalv Festival and the Stockholm Concert Hall.