Simina Oprescu

composer & sound artist

analysing the invisible

Sound of Matter

December 2022

Available for pre-order on Hallow Ground label Bandcamp

In the archive of Märchises and Staadt Museum in Berlin, exist 15 church bells, dating from the 15th century to the beginning of the 19th. They have all the historical information, including their weight, height, diameter, and material. Most of them are made out of bronze but there are two of them, sitting in front of the museum, that are made out of steel. Each one of the densities of the materials influences the tuning system of the bell and therefore the tone.

After some research, I arrived at the formula of how to calculate the fundamental f of the bell - which in bell language will be translated as Hum, then we will have on the scale the Prime, Tierce, Quint, and the highest Nominal. Each one of them is contained inside the shape of a bell. After I’ve used the formula f = K1t/d2√E/s(1-m2) which includes the K - constant of the material, s - density of the material, t -  thickness of bell at the sound bow, diameter, m - Poisson’s Ratio, E - Young's modulus; I was able to apply f into a Max patch and find its partials to re-create the harmonic tone of the bell. Because of the beating effect that is resulting between the different frequencies, I can sense a movement of sound if I move my head and hear the Nominal and Prime tones, that sometimes are more dominant. The sum of all the different frequencies, being overlayed with multiple Hums creates a multi-dimensional movement in its subtlety and cancels out all the echoes from the space.

The event PORTALE, a collaboration between the Masters program Sound Studies and Sonic Arts at the UdK Berlin, the Zeiss Großplanetarium and the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institut brings contemporary artistic practices to an iconic Berlin venue and opens up new worlds of immersive audio-visual experiences. Making full use of the 23-meter-high dome equipped with a multi-channel digital projection system as well as a full dome spatial sound system consisting of 49 speakers and four subwoofers, 15 artists present their works, from generative art to real time feed-back systems. These 13 works for frameless media alter and enhance the regular functioning of this theatrical space taking the spectator into various artistic contemplations.


Emerging from the cosmic interplay of solar winds and distant stars, a complex array of physical phenomena, including radio waves, intensity fluctuations, particle dissipation, and solar escape velocity at 618 km/s, composes a captivating narrative of the universe. This narrative extends beyond the perceptible, prompting reflections on the nature of reality. In the domain of sound, each manifestation encapsulates a history within a silent cacophony. If we were to encapsulate these auditory emissions within a celestial sphere, they would manifest as intangible oscillations, spatially fluctuating and eventually dissipating. Vibrations, like echoes, endure in accordance with the principle of energy conservation, inviting contemplation into the endurance of phenomena.

Temporal considerations lead to an exploration of the peculiar persistence of stellar luminosity long after celestial extinction, challenging conventional understandings of temporal progression. This hidden temporal dimension, analogous to unheard sounds, necessitates a gradual evolution in our perceptual framework. The exploration unfolds through the intricacies of vibration, reflection, and refraction, leaving imprints within the cosmic spectrum and sine wave interference patterns. In harmony with the cosmos, sustained tones form a continuous syntactical structure, akin to a harmonic arpeggio with a timbre reminiscent of an Overtone singer. Drawing inspiration from Risset's cascade, the journey takes us through a spiral of time—a clash of strange attractors, chaotic systems cycling periodically yet never repeating the exact pattern, and logarithmic spirals, a familiar shape found throughout nature and art. This prompts a reevaluation of time as a dimension that merely defines succession and events, beckoning towards a sense of unity that transcends conventional boundaries between self and object.

Delving further, the exploration encounters the mythical notion of primordial time—a dimension housing dream events and visions. This idea aligns with modern depth psychology's conception of the unconscious, where contact with such a dimension necessitates a state of unconsciousness. Testimonies regarding the relative "timelessness" of the unconscious echo not only in primitive cultures but also in mystical experiences characterized by profound unity with the universe and a sense of timelessness.

The feeling of timelessness inherent in the experiences of the deeper layers of the unconscious, referred to as the collective unconscious by Jung, reflects a structural commonality shared by all individuals. Those who traverse these depths often claim an ability to foresee future events, challenging the conventional delineations of past, present, and future. This mystical experience, sought after in various Eastern religious movements, unfolds as a profound sense of oneness with all things, rooted in the amalgamation of unconscious contents. Consequently, the ordinary temporal experience, with its divisions of past, present, and future, diminishes, giving way to a mystical continuum where time dissolves into the undivided fabric of existence.


Journey For A Form



The labyrinth has a vast symbolism, from Ancient Greek mythology to worldwide semiology. Labrys (Minoan or pre-Greek term) is considered a sign of life, with its diversions and detours, with inevitable traps where humans always try to escape them to the last minute of existence. In Greek mythology, the legendary craftsman Daedalus designed and built an elaborate and confusing structure called the Labyrinth. It was made for King Minos of Crete for the purpose of holding the half-bull, half-man monster called Minotaur.

The myth of the Minotaur is a story of tyranny and avarice. King Minos denied Poseidon a sacrificial bull, so the indignant god punished Minos by making his wife fall in love with a bull. The union spawned the monster, Minotaur. Shamed, King Minos locked him up in this structure. From this angle, feels like I am also the Minotaur, and the world is seen as a labyrinth. It finally arrives at a metaphor of traveling within, seeing the human constructed out of 3 extents: body, soul and spirit. All together walking the dynamic path of perfecting the spirit, conceived as a “road”. Another point of view is the symbol of the supremacy of the Minoan Mother Goddess. The labyrinthine symbol always accompanies women or goddesses, not male gods. Its more profound meaning is connected with the feminine life-giving force, as the centre of the labyrinth is the matrix of the Goddess.

The sculpture is constructed out of steel, playing a conductive part for the piezo mics fixed underneath it. It stands on a tall stander.

Amplifying the movements, the individual can play with the glass or metal ball while seeking the path to the centre. The piezo mics are connected to a mixer where modulating the sound it's possible, transforming the labyrinth into a sound resonating object. The room is dark with one spot on the labyrinth.

The individual hears playing an introduction piece in a quadrophonic environment.

While the sound stops, the individual may approach to the labyrinth.

The sound will start again after approx. 3 minutes of silence. In that time the individual can play, modify and modulate the sound as they please. When the music starts again on loop, the individual can also use it together with it, as a percussive instrument.