AXEL CRETTENAND

Turbulence in C minor is a sound sample collected from the installation Chaotic arrangement for 66 voices (2021) by Axel Crettenand, an apparatus designed to translate the chaotic behavior of temperature into a choir of human voices. The process comes to life in a volume of water that reminds a monochrome monolith, embodiment of a scientific direction: data are collected through thermometers spread in the water and sent to a program specifically designed to translate the temperature information into MIDI notes in real time, which are ultimately synthesized into voices. The outcome is a sound orchestration that intertwines and overlaps different voices, chords and notes giving rise to a random and unpredictable harmony that does not respond to any musical writing, nor to any previous score. Instead, it is the immediate result of the unrepeatability of a chaotic process that manifests itself in the turbulent oscillations of the water’s temperature collected at a given time and place. Here then, behind the choral vocalism that belongs to the human being, there is a scientific process; a passage is opened up, allowing spirituality and science to meet while the relationship between man and machine is once again tickled. The sound piece Turbulence in C minor, recorded in October 2021, was not the subject of any post-production nor compositional intervention.

Axel Crettenand

(b. 1989, Switzerland) lives and works between Switzerland and Italy. His practice takes the form of installations, sounds, texts, videos and images. A central theme of his work is the observation and representation of the invisible forces that give shape to the material world. He is specifically interested in exploring and producing intersections between ritual and scientific practices and experimenting with transdisciplinary approaches. Seeking collaborations with authors and professionals from  other fields of research, he generates contaminations between different perspectives and hybridations within the processes of proof making in order to imagine alternative ways of reading and understanding reality. In recent years he started a new research focused on the narratives of the collapse of civilization, with a first couple of works realized and exhibited in 2023. Axel Crettenand earned his MA in Fine Arts at the ZHdK (Zurich) after obtaining a BA in photography at the ECAL (Lausanne). His work has recently been presented at the International Sound Biennial (Sion), Klang Moore Schopfe (Gais), Helmhaus (Zurich), Johann Jacobs Museum (Zurich), and the Collegiale of Neuchâtel. In 2023 Pro Helvetia Cairo Liaison awarded the Co-creation prize to Eart_ض, a research project he is developing with Zaira Oram and Qanat collective between Switzerland and Morocco.

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