Simina Oprescu

composer & sound artist




analysing the invisible



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Simina Oprescu (b.1993) is a Romanian composer and sound artist based in Berlin, Germany, submersing herself in the intricacies of sound's acoustic and spectral properties. Her compositions embrace a diverse array of instruments, spanning from analog synthesizers to computer music or string instruments. Simina employs acoustic artifacts from physical or natural spaces as recordings, showcasing techniques cultivated through an investigative electroacoustic composition approach.


Her praxis unfolds with a fusion of synthetic and aural elements, ranging from intricate, detail-oriented maximalist stereo compositions to immersive multi-channel sonic minimalism, reshaping the contours of acoustic spaces. Simina's exploration takes her deep into structures and phenomena, weaving potent yet nuanced harmonic narratives influenced by psychoacoustics, consciousness studies, spatial arts, and theoretical or physical sculptural installations. Her artistic thinking centers on unified immersion, sound movement, and gesture, infusing philosophical meaning into her work. Her work was presented in numerous festivals, music/radio platforms, galleries and museums, collaborating with various international video artists, and her sound compositions were exhibited in EVA International | Ireland’s Biennial, Museum Tinguely, Basel, Märkisches Museum Berlin, MOTA Museum Ljubljana, n.b.k Berlin, Hošek Contemporary, Suprainfinit Gallery Bucharest, MARe museum Bucharest (Museum of Recent Art), SONICA, Cynetart, Rokolectiv, Simultan or ORF musikprotokoll and having her work mentioned in various magazines, like Positionen Berlin or The Wire. In 2020 she was selected to be part of the SHAPE platform artist roster. 


education:
 B.A. Department of Dynamic Image & Photography, UNArte (Bucharest) (2012-2016)
Acousmatic & electroacoustic composition, Royal Conservatory of Mons (Belgium) (2017-2018)
M.A. Sound Studies & Sonic Arts at UdK, Berlin (2021 - 2024). 

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oprescu.simina@gmail.com

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www.instagram.com/siminaoprescu/





Sound of Matter

December 2022











Available for order on Hallow Ground label Bandcamp
Lmt. vinyl sold out







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.  


https://www.udk-berlin.de/en/event/portale-sounds-udk-planetarium-berlin/



ETHEREAL WAVES




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.



https://www.instagram.com/p/C0jT4ZPJept/?img_index=1


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Journey For A Form


2022

 






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.

LUDUS



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





CATHARSIS



You know everything you need to know. You see everything you want to see. You have the entire world in the palm of your hand closed. Without the disclaimer "To be consumed in moderation," we scatter outside ourselves, for fear of losing something. However, the exterior is also part of you. You have to know, to understand, to confront and then make peace with it. It defines you as much as you define it on him. Embraces it! Assimilates it! And with it, assimilate the subject knowledge that you mediate. Make it part of your definition!

This is how it would sound the prologue for the video-essay (17 min) of Simina Oprescu, the desire to recreate the transformative path of a confused and exhausted subject, in search of restoring the balance. Although the trigger for the self-discovering need remains default, you cannot not perceive it, just because you know it so well. The strong advance of the outside world in the individual consciousness, excessive exposure to the infinite potentialities involved in it, are causing an acute feeling of lack of meaning.
Rebalancing is possible in this case only by shifting the search from outside to inside .The creator takes refuge in a world of symbols in search of a transcendent, unifying effect. By revealing the fact that the personal integration process of the individual is inserted into a global evolution, symbols tie the man to the world and helps suppressing the alienation and confusion.Rebalancing is possible in this case only by shifting the search from outside to inside. Creator takes refuge in a world of symbols in search of a unifying effect, transcendent. By highlighting the fact that the integration process of the individual personally is inserted into a global evolution, symbols tie the man to the world and helps suppress the alienation and confusion.

Another center of interest is built around schizoid dichotomy between subject and object, between signifier and signified, between appearance and essence. Cleavage produced visual psychic level is invoked by dividing the image into two unitary image that runs in parallel. Fluid representations of nature and biological life intertwine occasionally in unified image, embodiments of the biological continuum of the great narratives that encompasses all changes, internal and external and requires constant rebalancing.

The return to nature and to some extent becoming-nature, understanding the human body as a microcosm of the universe and integration, methods of resistance adopted by the artist before the attacks on the subconscious. These trails, indoor-outdoor, exterior-interior, for the artist become a way of being. Questioning continues probing the darkest areas of the mind, constant redefining of reporting real, even self-triggering crises of meaning, become necessary to bring to the surface shreds of truth that resonates in the spectator-generic. In this case, catharsis becomes a creative process in which opposites working together to transform the individual from apathetic observer of his own life, to a participant continuing to be actively involved in his own evolution.

exhibited at Make a Point, Bucharest.