Ceramic Sound Art Instruments

Fedde ten Berge, the Egg, 2017

IDEA: Interactive ceramic sound art installations

WHAT: In the 'of Nature and Things' series, sound sculptures invite the viewer to wonder and play, and seduce the viewer to autonomously interact with each work. By approaching and touching it, the objects respond with magnified and designed electronic sounds. In each work a ceramic object is combined with other kinds of material, some materials can be found ready-made, in nature, where others are strongly manipulated by man.

WHY: The sculptures invite to independently, yet carefully, explore the layered possibilities of each work, and creates a private experience and relationship between the objects and the viewer occurs. Sonic, visual and sculptural qualities of all materials used, are being investigated, enriched and magnified. 

BY: Fedde ten Berge is a sound artist who creates work in different contexts and disciplines. In his project 'of Nature and Things’ he develops sound art installations, that investigate the possible manifestations and combinations of different types of material, like ceramics. A substantial part of his research is to express the electrical capacity and vibrating qualities of the material. Ceramics by Frank van OS (Barst! Keramiek).

Fedde ten Berge, The Trunk, 2017
Construction assistent: Jesse Meijer / Ceramics Expert: Frank van Os (Barst!) / Camera & Editing: Reynoud Wieringa

The Trunk
Instead of the field proximity capacitive sensing used in the other works, in The Trunk ten Berge used close proximity capacitive sensing. This enables the audience to use the water as a water percussion instrument, inspired by the water percussion performed by Brazillian native tribes.

“For the design of the ceramic trays, they look a bit like exploded chocolate cakes, I was inspired by the melted geometry by Salvador Dali.”

The Egg
With The Egg, ten Berge focused on creating a sculpture in which light and sound design are integrated. This way, no external speakers or lamps are needed to create a total experience. The experience itself is based on the magical experience that you can have on our physical reality. One part of the sound design is based on the crackling of eggshells. The intensity of each egg crackle is coupled to a light flash on the LED strips. For me the tightness of the light sound interaction demonstrates the power of Bela. Another part of the sound design is based on a chord progression and a synthesis technique called phase aligned formant synthesis. Described by in Theory and Techniques of Electronic Music by Miller Puckette. There are mainly 3 nuances in playing the egg. When you move close to the egg the sound design becomes more intense. When you move out of the proximity field the chord changes. When you touch the water the most intense effect is achieved.

Fedde ten Berge, The Egg, 2017

The Shroom
The Shroom focusses on the vibrations that occur on different levels in the psychical reality of the artwork. Electromagnetic, acoustic, material and structural vibrations are picked up by different sensor strategies, which enables The Shroom to respond to the approach of the audience with carefully designed sound. In this way the visual design of the object comes in close relation with the sound design. 

Fedde ten Berge, the Shroom, 2017