An underwater concert
The AquaSonic underwater concert by Between Music, takes the audience on a unique and fascinating voyage into uncharted territory. The work presents five performers who submerge themselves in glass water tanks to play custom-made instruments and sing entirely underwater. Transformed inside these darkly glittering, aquatic chambers, they produce compositions that are both eerily melodic and powerfully resonant.

The groundbreaking work of getting a five piece band to play and perform under water highlights the deeply passionate and slightly mad inventor mindset that drives Between Music. The creation of the work has required years of experimentation and countless test-runs in close collaboration with everything from dedicated deep-sea divers to imaginative instrument makers and brilliant scientists – people driven by the same urge to break new ground and challenge existing worldviews.

This has led to the development of a number of highly peculiar underwater instruments such as hydraulophone, violin, electromagnetic harp, chimes and percussion, as well as a distinctive vocal technique for underwater singing. The result is a concert experience out of the ordinary; a deep dive into a compelling visual universe and a new world of sound. It is organic, raw, aesthetic - and deeply original. AquaSonic is brimming with curiosity and fascination with the unknown that permeates the water tanks and waves in over the audience.


AquaSonic is created by Between Music:

Laila Skovmand Artistic Director, composer and performer
Robert Karlsson Business Director and Performer
Morten Poulsen Performer
Dea Maria Kjeldsen Performer
Nanna Bech Performer

AquaSonic is the first part of Between Music’s Quadrology Human Evolution (working title); a four-pice work inspired by the human evolution.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Calendar

2017
Diaghilev Festival, Perm, Russia
Tuesday May 16, 9pm
Perm Academic Theatre
Tickets here

Wednesday May 17, 7pm
Perm Academic Theatre
Tickets here

Video

 
 
 
   

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

History

2006
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.


 
   

 

2007
Watervoice
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.
 

 

2007-2008
Concerts in Aarhus with Close to water, a band with instruments made of toilet parts.
 

 

 

2009
AquaSonic is founded.
 

2009-2011
Research
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.

Cymatics
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:

   

 

2011
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.
 
http://illutron.dk
http://stevehubback.com

2012
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.

Homage to water - video:
   

 

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:
  Deutsche Welle:

 

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.

Live video:
   

2013
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!


 

Net article:
http://inews.mediajungle.dk/2013/02/06/local-musicians-perform-underwater-concert/

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
The biggest hydraulophone in the world at Ontario Science Center
   


 

Singing Bowls
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.
 



 

Electromagnetic harp
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
http://ing.dk/artikel/musikere-opfinder-nye-instrumenter-til-undervandskoncert-161853
 

Percussion Play
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:
http://jyllands-posten.dk/aarhus/kultur/ECE6487506/kunsten-at-fa-toner-til-at-flyde/
 

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.

   

Credits

Links to our partners, helpers, friends, supporters:

Co-producer: Aarhus 2017 - European capital of culture

FuturePerfect Productions - Producer
Andy Cavatorta - instrument inventor, software developer
Matt Nolan - cymbal smith, electro engineer
Preston Wilson - consulant, underwater acoustics expert
Alex Mørch - instrument builder
Steve Mann, University of Toronto - Inventor, researcher
Ryan Janzen, University of Torono - Scientist, composer
Jane Winther - artist and distributor of singing bowls
FuturePerfect Productions
10tons - zoological, botanical and paleontologic models
Weirdwear - special costume design
Mezzo-forte - maker of carbon fibre violins
Steve Hubback - metalkymist
Alexander Lauterwasser - Cymatics researcher
Kattegatcentret Grenaa
Aqua Silkeborg
Pianokompagniet Aarhus
Nordic Diving

AquaSonic is supported by the Danish Arts Agency,
Aarhus Municipality's Arts Council, Kulturhus Aarhus and Danish
Musician Union.

Also a great thanks to:

Fjord & Bælt, Magnus Wahlberg
Audio Technology for help with building cymatic speakers
prof. Peter Teglberg Madsen, University of Aarhus for lots of advise in
hydrophones and whale song dialects
Liselotte Beyer for helping with cymatics
Brüel og Kjær, Tom Sørensen, for lending and trying hydrophones with us
Tex-Tryk for lending us an aquarium
Pappagallo for all kinds of help, including lending us a storage room
Royal unibrew
Villum Hansen for programming this webpage
Jens-A for designing this webpage
Lars Henningsen Zip Zap
Frischknecht Data
Peter Dombernowsky for lending percussion
Leif Falk for donating a violin for the first tryouts
Simon Steen-Andersen for musical advise
Henrik Winther for acoustic advise
Henrik Larsen for percussion advise
Illutron
Mette Aakjær
Kaj Duncan David
Jona Ingolfsdottir
Mette Marie Ørnstrup
Erik Jørgensen
Ise Klysner Kjems
Erik Beselin
Anders Stockholm
Göran Bergström
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Contact

Co-produced by Aarhus 2017

FuturePerfect Productions - Homepage
FuturePerfect Productions - Facebook

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