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Jonáš Gruska


Sonic Acts


Amsterdam (NL)


Sound Performance

Experimental composer and LOM label/​space founder Jonáš Gruska finds it’s the weak spots that are the most resonant, from worn-out bridges to aged ventilation systems. The ceremonial album Žaburina (2018), less field-recording-bent than his celebrated debut Spevy (2017), digitally synthesises sounds influenced by experimental and eastern music traditions. Live, his self-made horn PA relays the raw, beautiful, complex output he identifies in broken things.

Žaburina, a multichannel sound performance commissioned by Ina GRM, had its world première at Sonic Acts. Based on Jonáš Gruska’s eponymous 2018 album, the work in constant progress explores the imaginary folklore music of underwater nations. Although all sounds are synthesised, they are heavily inspired by hydrophone recordings and mouth-organ music from East Asia. Polymetric rhythms are used as compositional tools that expand through the multichannel system to their own specific instruments or overlap in complex non-Western scales. The centre of the work is a system of rotating PA horns, traditionally used for announcements in Slovakian villages – repurposed here as a very specific psychoacoustic-enhanced sound distribution system.

Photo Pieter Kers

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