First Tryout with instruments and vocals under water
2006 COLINA (European artists’ research laboratory) Laila Skovmand tries to sing under water for the first time. Some instruments are also experienced with and a music video is produced.
Laila Skovmand produces and performs Watervoice: A solo performance in a water tank. She performs and collaborates with different artists.
Premiere Watervoice at the performance festival Here and Now.
Concerts in Aarhus with Close to water, a band with instruments made of toilet parts.
AquaSonic is founded.
AquaSonic does major research. Meetings and consultations with various experts; from dedicated deep-sea divers to imaginative instrument makers and brilliant scientists. Working on different subjects such as sound travel in water, fish sounds, diving, hydrophones, water instruments etc.
Christian Dietrichsen visits Alexander Lauterwasser in Germany, who is the leading expert in cymatics. Following his directions, AquaSonic builds a try-out cymatic speaker system together with Audio Technology, Skanderborg.
See a video about Lauterwasser’s work on Cymatics here:
First tryouts with building underwater instruments
Workshop at Illutron, a collective of inventors and Steve Hubback, metalkymist.
Steve produces different percussions and a harp (idea by Christian Dietrichsen). The harp is supposed to be played with an electromagnetic device (ebow) to produce long notes. Harald Wiuff and Christian Liljedahl from Illutron make the first practical attempts and theoretical solutions.
Trying out a violin under water
and different percussion instruments, further experiments with the harp.
Violin under water-video:
Eksperiments with the harp:
Worhshop during the opening of Godsbanen, Aarhus
Trying out live video production, singing techniques, percussion, violin, cymatics.
Prof. Peter Teglberg Madsen, University of Aarhus, helps with his knowledge in whale dialects and hydrophones. The singers try to copy whale song which inspired them to explore new sounds.
The artist Liselotte Beyer helps with her big knowledge of cymatics.
Lots of experiments are done.
Building a underwater violin
A specially modified carbon fiber violin is made by Mezzo-forte, Germany. The violin maker receives massive media response thanks to the project. Besides many articles in magazines and online media, there were also spots in German TV, showing AquaSonic’s video material.
Sat 1 NRW - video:
Junge Hunde Festival, Aarhus, DK, 6 weeks open workshop
A lot of issues were solved during this workshop. We found waterproof in-ear headphones that made it possible for us to hear each other. We found out that going up to the surface to breathe instead of using equipment is the best solution aesthetically, which was also confirmed by audience feedback.
We had a great nerdy day gathering a sound engineer, a hydrophone producer and an expert of acoustics, trying out different kinds of hydrophones (under water micro-phones). The composer Simon Steen-Andersen becomes AquaSonic’s musical supervisor.
The singers explore and practice singing in water surface. Laila writes a piece that is performed as an overture to the performances.
We do two work-in-progress performances, with approx. 170 spectators at each performance. We receive tremendously good feedback from the audience which confirms that this project has a huge potential reaching a wide audience.
Performance in public pool in Aarhus DK, during the Love Festival in Badeanstalten Spanien. This was an experiment where the audience joined us in a public pool. We cooperated with Mads Bech Paluszewski-Hau who played on underwater sound sculptures. AquaSonic used underwater speakers but they were hard to control because of feedback, with the result that we couldn’t play very load. You could hear it equally well around the entire pool, but those who came close to us, couldn’t really hear the music because of their own splashing, and those who backed away to the calmer areas could hear us but not see us. So the result was not very satisfying neither for us or the audience. But it was great fun!
Steve Mann & hydraulophone
AquaSonic starts a research project together with prof. Steve Mann and Ryan Janzen, University of Toronto. The main purpose is to build a custom made hydraulophone (water instrument) for AquaSonic. In 1985 Steve invented this instrument as the first instrument in the world using water to produce sound. He is also called the Human Cyborg, the Father of Wearable Computing and the Father of Augmented Reality with inventions such as the computer glasses. We had some very inspiring meetings with Steve and Ryan who combines technology with art and philosophy.
The biggest hydraulophone in the world at Ontario Science Center
We wanted to build a tonal percussion instrument similar to a xylophone. But it’s a big challenge to find something that can produce a long ringing note under water and not just a short click. We tried a lot of glass bowls which produce nice sounds, but are very fragile, so we ended up with singing bowls instead. Singing bowls are metal bowls with a warm, long note used in Asian meditation, healing etc. Fortunately the biggest distributor in Scandinavia, Jane Winther, lives nearby Aarhus. We visited her many times and tried out around 700 bowls under water, to find a set of bowls that tunes in 440hz under water with an equal sound. We ended up with two chromatical sets, 24 bowls in total.
Our first idea was to build a carillon. So we contacted Thubalka in Vejle, DK who is the biggest manufacturer of carillons in Denmark. They produced a prototype but the idea was abandoned due to the size the carillon would get. Instead we built stands for the bowls to be played by mallets.
After several people’s several attempts to make the harp work, an electro engineer student from University of Aarhus signed up to make the harp work as his exam project. It is scheduled to be finished Summer -14.
Article in Ingeniøren
We discovered a company called Percussion Play that manufactures percussion for stationary outdoor use. This sounded very useful, so we found a day together and borrowed a pool. Unfortunately their instruments didn’t sound as good under water as they do in air.
Article in Jyllandsposten:
UNDERWATER HAUTE COUTURE CREATIONS
Through a mutual friend we found Esben Horn, founder of 10tons, who makes models of aquatic organisms to museums etc. His wife is a special costume designer; Weirdwear. Together we want to create under water haute couture creations for AquaSonic inspired by aquatic organisms. However, we don’t want to design a fish costume, but rather use some of the elements found in sea. Experiment with different structures and materials and try to incorporate luminescent material.