Founded in 2009 by Fabio di Salvo and Bernardo Vercelli, Quiet Ensemble is a charmingly oddball artist collective: it generates audiovisual performances by capturing the movement of various objects and creatures, ranging from goldfish to pineapples to snails. Hoping to celebrate the “invisible concerts” around us every day, di Salvo and Vercelli use sound equipment and digital software to transform motion into a symphony of unexpected, delightful sounds. Inspired by John Cage’s dictum that the creation and performance of music should embody freedom of aesthetic expression, Quiet Ensemble strives to reveal hidden or often-overlooked aspects of the environment around us.
One of their latest projects, Still Life, amplifies the micro-voltages contained within the acidic fluid of six different fruits to make a series of rhythmic sound waves audible. More astoundingly, these sound frequencies can also be emphasised by a video projection of a still life painting by Caravaggio. Because each fruit has a different acidic content and sound frequency, they distort the image by continuously shattering and fusing it together again. Watch a video of this whimsical performance here.
Another playful offering from Quiet Ensemble is Quintetto, an installation based on the vertical movement of five fishes in an aquarium. As the fishes swim around their respective tanks, their movement is captured by a video camera, which is linked to a computer that translates these images into music. Orienta is equally brilliant: it illuminates the path of snails as they trail slowly across a flat surface.
Learn more about Quiet Ensemble’s work on their website.
Images courtesy of Bernardo Vercelli.