Simina Oprescu

composer & sound artist

analysing the form of the universe through a grain of sound

Sound of Matter

December 2022

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.

To be released on the Swiss label Hallow Ground in Spring 2024.

An in-depth research essay will accompany the release and the academic extended version will be published on


Video & sound work (2020)

Commissioned work by MOTA Museum in Ljubljana, exhibited at Equrna Galerija inside SONICA festival ‘Paradise Haunted Garden’.
and exhibited at Mestna Galerija in Nova Gorica inside PixxelPoint Festival. 

‘LUDUS’ is an experiment that aims to use the game as a mean ofresearch for the ways in which form can change the sound andinitiate the rhythm. Inside the game, the rules play an important role in setting/creatingthe rhythm, thus modulating the form, the invisible shape of sound. The secrecy of the play gives that aleatoric, unpredictable movement of sound in space. In contradiction with its rules which demand andorganise, somehow the beauty of the play lies exactly in its contradictions. If the game would be predictable 100%, there won’t be any stake of winning, the rules trace the territory/ form and thesecret confers content/ substance.

In play/game it’s a duality, the relation between visible and invisible.

“The exceptional and special position of play is most tellingly illustrated by the fact that it loves to surround itself with an air ofsecrecy. Even in early childhood the charm of play is enhanced bymaking a "secret" out of it. This is for us, not for the "others".

What the "others" do "outside" is no concern of ours at the moment.

Inside the circle of the game the laws and customs of ordinary life no longercount. We are different and do things differently.

[…] Archaic man was well aware that music was a sacred force capable of rousing the emotions, and a game. Only much later was itappreciated as a significant addition to life and an expression of life,in short, an art in our sense of the word” - Johan Huizinga -
Homo Ludens

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.