"There are two custom live electronics that I developed for the use in my vocal performances, the strophonion and the stimmflieger. Both are gesture-controlled instruments that allow the performer to run audio processes in real time. By applying a variety of live sampling techniques, the performer is able to explore the sonic potential of the vocal material during the live performance. Since all applied controllers are connected to the computer by using wireless technology, the vocal performance artist is able to move about freely onstage, thus operating right at the intersection of vocal and bodily performance art as well as the application of state-of-the-art electronics. This performance practice is what I propose to call voice-induced sound dance."
Alex Nowitz
11 February 2021

Video still from a performance of Untitled featuring voice, strophonion and one chair to be ignored, recorded by Diethild Meier during the duet performance 
'Dr. D meets Dr. V' together with dance artist Susanne Martin as part of the
Improvisation XChange Festival at the Dock11 Berlin, 2016.

2010 - present time

The strophonion is a custom, wireless electronic instrument whose software and hardware components were developed and built at STEIM, the STudio for Electro-Instrumental Music, in Amsterdam. Belonging to the instrument group of gesture-controlled live electronics, the strophonion provides buttons for changing functionality and for playing different pitches as well as various types of sensors to measure movements of hands and arms on a continuous basis. The data thus obtained is processed and translated into sonic and musical parameters. The world premiere of the strophonion took place in 2011 during the Sound Triangle Festival at the LIG Art Hall in Seoul, South Korea. Currently the instrument is maintained by Berlin-based instrument designer and programmer Sukandar Kartadinata who implemented a new software application and configuration based on the audio processing software Max 7. On the 13th of December 2018 the premiere of this second version of the strophonion took place during the solo show Moving Tongues: Playing Space, featuring voice, strophonion and video at the Reaktorhallen in Stockholm, Sweden.
The strophonion's original version with wooden housings for left hand controller (on the left in the image) and right hand controller (right). Image © Frank Baldé, 2011.
Supervised by Takuro Mizuta Lippit aka DJ Sniff, the initial R&D team consisted of A.N. (conception), Byungjun Kwon (sensor technology and electronics) and Florian Goettke (ergonomics and housings). Starting in 2010, it took two years to research and develop the hardware and to test its functionalities. The first software configuration was based on LiSa (live sampling application) and junXion (connectivity application) developed and constantly refined until 2016 by the main programmer at STEIM, Frank Baldé. In 2014, drawing on the original shape of the controllers, a backup instrument was re-designed by Nicolò Merendino aka Chi-ha-ucciso-Il-Conte?.
The “backup” version of the controller pair of the strophonion together with the hip belt and cable for the ultrasonic distance sensor. Image © Janina Janke, 2014.
A recent composition for voice (whistling) and strophonion with the title 
The Bird That Did Not Return addresses the dubious custom of hunting birds, still practiced in Mediterranean countries.

For more information on the strophonion, conceptual structure and choreographic ideas visit A.N., 
'Designing and Playing the Strophonion: Extending vocal art performance using a custom digital music instrument', in econtact! 18.3 — Sonic DIY: Repurposing the Creative Self. Montréal: Canadian Electroacoustic Community (December 2016):
Eine Raumvermessung, featuring strophonion solo, 2015;
audio recording by Roy Carroll, video recording Oscar Loeser.
To perceive the full frequency range, use appropriate, external loudspeakers!

For further video documentations of performances using the strophonion visit:
A.N., ‘Monsters I Love: On Multivocal Arts‘, Stockholm University of the Arts (SKH), 3 (2019), 
The stimmflieger consisting of two Wii remotes. Image © Frank Baldé, 2009.
Stimmflieger [voice kite]
2007 - 2016
The stimmflieger is a wireless, electronic instrument consisting of two Wii remotes, interface and computer. Based on LiSa and junXion, the applied software configuration was developed in close collaboration with sound artist Daniel Schorno at STEIM, the STudio for Electro-Instrumental Music in Amsterdam. The world premiere of the stimmflieger took place in 2008 during the theatre spectacle Die Stadt [The City] und Der Schnitt [The Cut] directed by Thomas Ostermeier at the Schaubuehne Berlin. In 2009, at the World New Music Days in Gothenburg hosted by the International Society of Contemporary Music, A.N. was awarded the first prize by the European Conference of Promoters for New Music (ECPNM) for performing his composition Minotaurus featuring voice and live electronics, that is to say, the stimmflieger.

To gain insight into the instrument visit the article A.N., 'Voice and Live-Electronics using Remotes as Gestural Controllers (2008)' in eContact! 10.4 — Live-electronics—Improvisation—Interactivity in Electroacoustics, 
Montréal: Canadian Electroacoustic Community (October 2008), https://econtact.ca/10_4/nowitz_voicelive.html.

To listen to the stereo version of the electroacoustic composition Labyrinth, for eight loudspeaker and no light, based on the ECPNM award-winning piece Minotaurus featuring voice and live electronics (stimmflieger), visit: https://soundcloud.com/alexnowitz/labyrinth.​​​​​​​
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