quartet - bodies in performance

we see the back of the percussionist brian archinal
quartet, videostill, Brian Archinal, percussion

quartet - bodies in performance is a video installation that explores the interlocking connections between sound production and performance gestures and binds the act of composition to physical articulation. The audience does not see the performers actually playing the instruments; rather, its attention is directed at the anatomy of the performers’ backs, which are carefully illuminated against an infinite black backdrop. The back muscles, which are animated by the performance gestures, almost seem to dance to the sounds produced. Thus, the music is visualized in the moving body, emphasizing the rhythm, crescendi, and accelerandi and drawing listeners into the essence of the physical strain of years of intense practice on the muscles.


featured in the video Brian Archinal _ percussions | Simone Keller _ piano | Moritz Müllenbach _ violoncello | Krassimir Stereve _ accordion
Carlotta Holy _ camera | Markus Brunn _ lights | Alice Fischer _ audio recording | Damien Inderbitzin _ postproduction video


quartet has been commissioned by the WDR and City of Witten, Germany and had been premiered during the 2018 Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik.


This installation is dedicated to the New York artist Ernesto Klar and dancer Mariangela Lopez, whose collaboration has inspired this work.


"... Schulterblätter bewegen sich, Sehnen treten hervor, auch kräftige Muskeln, trainiert durch jahrezehntelanges Üben....
Sicht- und Hörbares befruchten sich sinnvoll... "

Torsten Möller, 03.05.2018, "Ein grosser Wurf", Schweizer Musikzeitung





During the exhibition, these videos play all independently with various looping times (21', 20', 18', 15'), four speakers on pedestals, each featuring one of the instrumentalists are distributed freely within the exhibition space. The audience is invited to promenade among the sculpturesque speaker set-up to create their own individual audio-visual mix. 

To best experience this documentation, I recommend the viewer to open four vimeo player windows at once and start playing the videos with different starting times.




Listen to quartet being featured at the Swiss Radio SRF 2, Kultur 2, in a wonderful interview by Cécile Olshausen with me on my work on June 15, 2018 during the exhibition of quartet at the Kunstraum Walcheturm, Zürich. The interview is in German.

10:15 I talk about my installation work in general
14:35 quartet is being introduced





June, 8.-23., 2018

installation view Walcheturm percussion
installation view walcheturm acciordion
installation view walcheturm perc and piano
installation view walcheturm speaker window
Photos: Lorenzo Pusterla