Mira Calix

During some research I cam across the artist Mira Calix who is as sounds installation and sound sculptor artist. I really love her work especially one of her latest pieces, which is influenced by Allegri’s sacred Misserere Mei Deus, called ‘My Secret Heart’. Collaborating with street dancers…

This is her TED talk. I like how she talks about how she has to engaged with the audience and ‘guide’ them along as she cannot tell her audience what the think. This is a really important part of creating a piece of musical work or art work. If there is no connectivity between the musician/artist and audience then what you are trying to portray may become something else completely different to the musician/artists intentions. Also her processes of creating sounds that are intended not to evoke misery but to give you a picture of it is really interesting as everyone has a different idea of what different emotions look and sound like. The amount of thought that has gone into a particular sound that can show, for example, misery.

At the beginning of the talk she shows a site specific permanent installation that is set in the old tunnels in bath, ‘Passage‘. This is a collaborative piece of work between herself and the UVA (United Visual Artists).  I really love the idea of using people to set off different sounds. The fact that this installation is based in quite an enclosed environment gives it quite an intense atmosphere.

Another piece of work by Calix that I think is a really lovely is her ‘Nothing Is Set In StoneNothing Is Set In Stone by Mira Calix.

This is a musical sculpture that senses how far away an object or person is, and depending how far away or near they are depends on what sounds are triggered. What I really love about this sculpture are the aesthetics of the whole thing. The music is of the waterfalls, birds singing and other field recordings from nature with the stones and rocks are placed specifically so that the larger rocks are at the bottom with smaller stones at the bottom. It all becomes a lot more natural. You start listening to the stones and forget that they are stones, the relationship between the stones and the listener becomes more intimate.

Looking at Mira Calix’s work and how she involves the viewer within the piece of work, I’d to do something similar and use sensors to trigger sounds when someone walks past a bit like in her ‘Passage’ piece. It allows the piece to create its own soundtrack if you like, the music isn’t strict like a score but more flexible because of the viewers own movements and decisions thus creating a different atmosphere and experience every time.


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