“The voice of shadow” is a participatory interactive sound installation by Cao Thanh Lan and Gregor Siedl, for audience’s gesture, shadow, light sensor and self-made string instruments. By playing with their own shadow, the spectators make the instruments sound in various tempi as their shadows define.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the people of Polystipos village in Cyprus, who shared the materials with us, helped us building the instruments and objects for the installation during Xarkis Residency and Festival! Each object carries with it, part of the local history. The gourd is from the 60s and was used as a ladle to scoop home-brewed wine from one barrel to another. The wooden box was found by Andreas – the carpenter of the village, at a land-fill and was meant for raising his chickens. The buzuki – a musical instrument popular in Greece and Cyprus that was brought there in the 1900s by Greek immigrants from Turkey, was also lent to us by a family in Polystipos village. The space itself is just as historical. It is literally the fridge of the village’s mayor. Every family in the village has a “fridge” where they traditionally store their harvest and home-made wine in cool temparature.
“The voice of shadow” explores the thin border between intentionality and unintentionality, between being the performer and the spectator, between immateriality and physicality, between music and visual arts. The shadow and the sound are the immaterial projections of the participants’ physicality.
The main result of this participatory work could be either the spectacular shadow, or the choreography of the individual audience, or the interesting changes in the course of sound enabled by the shadow movement, or any combination of these three. It depends on the inclination and disposition of each individual audience/performer. For example: Some might choose to focus mainly on the sound and the shadow intentionally, thus their physical body moves unintentionally. Some might be more aware of their physical body movement, thus their shadow and the sonic outcome is (partially) unintentional. Some are capable of paying attention to all the three elements simultaneously.