TVÍSÖNGUR - Somewhere in Iceland
Concrete domes to honor specific musical tradition.
Berlin artist Lukas Kühne’s bulbous sculpture known as Tvísöngur, mixes concrete, nature, and sound to create an interactive tribute to Iceland’s unique tradition of five-tone harmony.
These concrete domes really opens my curiosity about Iceland, they are situated in East Iceland, near the town of Seydisfjordur.
They represent a visualization of the five-tone harmony Icelandic tradition.
We should not forget that Iceland gave us one of the most talented female singer worldwide and one able to unify music with latest technology… Björk !
Unveiled in 2012, the installation piece looks like a grouping of interconnected cement bubbles from afar. Up close the five segments are actually quite large, ranging from roughly 6 to 12 feet tall and can be entered via rounded arches built into the walls. Once inside the stark industrial domes, visitors will find that they have each been designed to resonate at different harmonies as the wind blowing in off the cliff rushes through the openings. The collective effect is almost as though the wind itself is playing a giant instrument.
The five chambers of the piece are meant to recall the Icelandic musical tradition of quintal harmony, with each dome reflecting a tone in the tradition. Juxtaposed with the serene and stark surroundings, it seems as though Iceland itself is creating the music. Tvísöngur is a permanent work and is meant to keep the country’s musical traditions alive, which is not an easy thing to do simply with concrete.
But what is exactly quintal harmony ?
From Wikipedia :
In music, quartal harmony is the building of harmonic structures with a distinct preference for the intervals of the perfect fourth, the augmented fourth and the diminished fourth. Quintal harmony is harmonic structure preferring the perfect fifth, the augmented fifth and the diminished fifth.
Quintal harmony (the harmonic layering of fifths specifically) is a lesser-used term, and since the fifth is the inversion or complement of the fourth, it is usually considered indistinct from quartal harmony. Indeed, a circle of fifths can be arranged in fourths (G→C→F→B♭ etc. are fifths when played downwards and fourths when played upwards); this is the reason that modern theoreticians may speak of a “circle of fourths”.
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