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workspace for experimental music and sound art
Mika Oki & Irwin Barbé
17/02/2020 - 15/03/2020

Under the alias Tucuxi, we’ve been exploring for more than two years years now some of the links between electronically generated sounds and real subaquatic recordings. Through several residencies like Silo, GRM, and Sonica, our Liquidation Totale radio show on french community radio LYL and several events in unusual locations like a sensory deprivation tanks center, we found that other people also reacted strongly to these interactions of sounds and water, and we eventually created a music collective and label gathering people from different music spheres. Through our research we became increasingly aware of the deep links binding humans to water. Not only is liquid the first element in which we exist before being born, but evolutionary and archaeologic studies tend to show that humans have developed in semi-aquatic flatlands.


Water is embedded deep in our species psyche, and to us, sounds and liquids share some of the same properties : they can fill up a space, and they can fill you with an emotion. We also found that analog electronic sound generators (like filters, ring modulators, frequency modulations) quickly evoke sub-aquatic sounds. This made us want to explore further the idea of artificially recreated oceanic soundscapes. Using only electronic sounds and simple layering techniques, surprisingly realistic recordings emerge. For the residency at Q-O2, we would like to dive even deeper into this research, and create several immersive spatialised sound pieces based on these ideas.


Beyond sculpting sounds that evoke water movements and lifeforms, we also want to incorporate an aspect that became increasingly important in our work : the physicality of sound vibrations. To simulate the sensation of being immersed in a liquid by filling a room with acoustic frequencies. When we are immersed in a fluid, our hearing bandwidth is very limited, and we want to recreate this altered perception by generating and recording infra sounds and quasi-ultrasounds. These explorations could take the form of a performance in which we expose ourselves to these frequencies and analyze our physical and emotional reactions to them, and the recordings could also be incorporated in the soundscapes, like almost inaudible stratas.


Our work with electronic equipment and the study of the cybernetic theories of natural (eco)systems and organisms also gave us the idea of an installation : our two modular synth systems would be connected together in an ever-changing, self-generative patch, mimicking fluid mechanics behaviors and re-creating a complex aquatic soundworld that would evolve on its own for an undefined (and virtually infinite) duration.


Gaston Bachelard, author of l’Eau et les Rêves, wrote : « it’s by standing long enough above the iridescent surface, that we understand the value of deepness », and the time and space offered by a residency like Q-O2 would enable just that : to develop and expand our ideas into actual experiments, installation and sound pieces.

Sebastian Dingens - WALKS
Pavel Tchikov 29/11/23
Nika Son - Scatter

Q-O2 is supported by the Flemish Community, VGC and the European Union
Koolmijnenkaai 30-34
B-1080 Brussels