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Gracing Space – Friktioner Performance Festival

Friktioner Performance Festival, Uppsala (SWE), 2010

Gracing Space at Friktioner Performance Festival

Live Feed & Field Recordings at Uppslala Domkyrka

In Gracing Space Project, Mari Kretz and Girilal Baars work with live feeds and field recordings of  Very Low Frequency radio waves from the upper reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere. Kretz is a Swedish artist working in the fields of acoustic and visual art. In her work, she has focused on scientific studies of acoustical phenomena in the atmosphere, low frequency radio waves travelling around Earth and in the depths of space, as well as electric signals generated by internal organs and the nervous system of the human body. Working with researchers and engineers, ranging from astronomy to medicine, she has visualised the barely perceptible worlds around us.

For her project ”Debris & other pieces”, based around atmospheric phenomena and space sounds, Mari Kretz has invited the musician and composer Girilal Baars. Baars works with vocal, acoustic and electronic music and holds to the idea that all rapid air-pressure changes are music. His performance Litanies in Zero Kelvin for voice, theremin and electronics was chosen for the Nordic Music Days in Oslo in 2009. Baars is particularly interested in exploring sounds from space, as he has been obsessed with space from a tender age.

→ Friktioner Performance Festival 2010, Uppsala Konstmuseum and Uppsala Domkyrka

“Space is not mute. Early on, the Greek philosopher Pythagoras believed the Universe was connected by harmonic and musical correlations in a music of spheres. Mari Kretz and Girilal Baars connect this primeval notion to a new technology in the Gracing Space Project. Through real-time live takes and recordings of low frequency radio waves outdoors, atmospheric sounds are presented that are normally not accessible to the ear.

The buzzing, rattling and whining whistles are processed in real-time by Kretz and Baars in a poetry of endlessness. The sounds emerge in all their mystery in the Cathedrals own cosmos. They harmonize with the medieval notion that the space and proportions of the Cathedral should echo the music of the spheres. The experience is influenced by the resting position. Directly underneath us lie people who have been dead for generations. Far above us loom the pointed arches of the vaults.”

Kurt Nyberg Ph D, cataloug text about our performance in Uppsala Cathedral (in Sweden), 2010.