Sound of Presence

Presence is a time-based sound and visual performance that attemps to produce an intermediate state dwelling between life and death. It employs a set of well curated sound sequence and visual projection to construct intensive spatial experience. The sound is performed live therefore each time the total length fluctuates around two minutes level.

Audience will first hear sound of heartbeats which signifies the beginning of life. Ticking of a clock symbolizes the approaching of death. With ambiguous whisper passes from one speaker to another among all eight installed on each node of a cubic space, the piece embeds itself in sophisticated spatial narratives. To heighten the overall atmosphere, the room light is turned off. Instead, a breathing white circle video clip projected onto the ceiling provides a hint for serene existence.

Furthermore, we included sound effect of water dripping that is rather commonly sensed in a quiet room to enrich the soundscape. As the tempo of clock ticking rises, we invite audience into an uncertain realm of consciousness as if we are in the limbo. It is where life and death meets, where the presence is constrained and interrogated. Ultimately there comes the escape, or an eternal imprisonment in the void.

Researcher: Leslie Epsztein, Quy Phung Kelly Ta, Qianhua Fu, Wen Wen

My Role: Concept,Coding(Maxmsp)

Concept Diagram

Maxmsp patch


I tell the day, to please him, thou art bright

And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven;

So flatter I the swart-complexioned night,

When sparkling stars twire not, thou gild’st the even.

But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer,

And night doth nightly make grief’s strength seem stronger.

——William Shakespeare, SONNET 28

*Read by Leslie Epsztein in French