Amir Shpilman: Open Closed Open – earphones required!


This video by composer Amir Shpilman uses Binauralization technology and therefore should be listened to using earphones.

“Open Closed Open” is a multimedia installation that explores a multitude of perceptual positions realized as a result of the continual movement of organic materials. Human voice, sand, and light are shaped by a layer of technological interventions that impose varying degrees of control and predetermined roles upon both themselves and the resulting response of the materials. The title of the work is excerpted from a poem by Yehuda Amichai reflecting on the cycle of formation and deformation of individuals and groups in terms of their self-definition in general, and of the Jewish identity in particular.

Hundreds audio recordings of vocalized Hebrew letters comprise the generative and electronically shaped soundtrack. Each vocal fragment has been composed individually, yet these gestural materials converge in continuously varying densities, forming a rich, ever-changing soundscape projected over 10 speakers in the space. With the use of 8D technology, the listener can perceive sound-movement when using headphones.

The Hebrew language appears in the mediums of writing and sound in both permanent and temporary manners, fragmented into individual letters or assembled into words — writing and rewriting themselves in space.

In a large sandbox, a robot continuously reforms the terrain while driving over and writing Hebrew letters in the sand. Depending on their movement, visitors could hear a single whispering voice or an assemblage of vocal gestures. Live visualization of their movements inside the sandbox is projected on a large, transparent screen hung at the back of the space. This animated representation along with the robotic and audio components reflects the interactions in this designed world that offer a stylized perspective on the social relations occurring between individuals and within groups.


Excited about the physicality of music, composer Amir Shpilman (1980) often works with theatrical means, dancers, designers, visual artists, poets, authors, and scientists to realize his musical ideas. He has a special interest in chaotic structures, large scale performances and installations. Fascinated by shapes that reflect inherent musical forms, he strives to translate the relationship between structure and volatility into authentic expression. He has worked with the European Capital of Culture (Wroclaw), Ensemble Intercontemporain (Paris), Maxim Gorki Theater (Berlin), International Contemporary Ensemble (New York), Ensembles Meitar and Nikel (Tel Aviv), Interface (Frankfurt), AuditivVokal (Dresden), Ensemble Mosaik and LUX: NM (Berlin), and Ensembles Reconsil and Platypus (Vienna) among others.

Interpreten und Ort:

  • Jewish Museum Berlin
  • Artists: Amir Shpilman, Liat Grayver, Yair Kira
  • Singers: Mima Millo (sopran), Cornelius Uhle (baritone), Galil Jamal (bass-baritone), Bojan Heyn (bass)
  • Sound Programming and artistic consultation: João Pais
  • Loudspeaker Design: Andreas Kakogiannis
  • Audio recording: Studio für Elektronische Musik | Hochschule für Musik Dresden
  • Robot: Technical Support, Programming and Design: So Kanno, Naoto Hiede and Ahmad Taleb
  • Motion-Tracking and Visualization: Casa Paganini | InfoMus, Vertigo STARTS
  • Video footage: Marcus Nebe

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