Joao Costa

How can I recapitulate the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in a sound installation within the context of contemporary art movements?


The project is a physical sound installation. The piece consists of two metal plates (one brass; one copper) containing musical notation represented by etched dashes. The song is “Valsa de Eurídice” (Eurydice’s Waltz) by Brazilian poet and musician Vinicius de Moraes.
The metal plates are“scanned” by an array of sensors that are attached to two linear actuators, one for each plate. When the system is triggered, both groups of sensors start moving along the plates in sync and play the song. Having reached the end of the plates, the sensors will move backwards and start again. However, since the system is assembled by a human, the array of sensors will slowly begin to move out of sync, altering the overall sound that is played – the assembly is not perfect, mirroring the flaws and entropy inherent to human nature.