AquaSonic is the most ambitious project to date from Danish musicians Laila Skovmand and Robert Karlsson, in collaboration with members of their ensemble Between Music. The work presents five performers who submerge themselves in glass water tanks to play custom-made instruments and sing entirely underwater.
Transformed inside these darkly glittering, aquatic chambers, they produce compositions that are both eerily melodic and powerfully resonant. The performers resemble creatures in Dr. Frankenstein’s lab – encased in sci-fi style equipment like the results of an experiment.
AquaSonic is the culmination of the artists’ nine-year research efforts and countless experiments in close collaboration with a team of deep-sea divers, instrument makers and brilliant scientists – people driven by the same urge to break new grounds and challenge existing paradigms.
As a result, the team has developed a number of highly specialized subaqueous instruments including an underwater organ or hydraulophone, a crystallophone, a rotachorda (a brass chordophone inspired by the old folk instrument hurdy gurdy), a setiphone, consisting of amplified note bars and a special technique for singing underwater. The result is a concert experience out of the ordinary; a deep dive into a compelling visual universe and a new world of sound.
The team are taking this unique performance on tour, begining in Rotterdam, Holland at the Operadagen Festival of contemporary music. Check out a video of the gig below.