Sound stains

Sound stains is a collection of installations, performances, and mixed multimedia works.

The idea of sound stains was born in September 1998 around a Miguel Rubio Cuesta´ s pictures exhibition. The original idea was a mixed space (visual-auditory), in which there were a series of paintings that correspond to several musical fragments. The paintings and the fragments are associated in pairs.  The public could walk among them freely. There are two different series of paintings, one called stains and another one called silences. Each one of these collections consists of two stain paintings and two silence paintings. Each one corresponds to a stereo source. It was composed between 1998 and 2001.

The studio version was premiered in Buger in the piano hall of the ACA Foundation on June 21, 2002.

manchas sonoras mix2

Sound stains poster  created by Miguel Rubio for the  2010 performative version


 Sound stains Versions

There are several  versions of sound stains. Three for  fixed media, two installations, one of them open to public improvisation,  and a micro-game installation. The Fixed Media  versions differ in how  the four  fragments are combined. In the first one, which can be considered the canonical one, the four fragments are concatenarte. In the second version, (2007, 9 minutes) the four fragments are mixed and recombined. A third 30 minutes version was used for the premiere of the work in the Aca Foundation. This version is in the  deposit of the Foundation and is for their exclusive use.

Short 2007 version.

There are also two installation versions,  one for public improvisation, and a micro-game installation for the Venice Machine Vending III Edition in the 56 Venice Bienal.

More information about the performance versions

The  2001 version was premiered in 2003 at the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró de Mallorca in its fifteenth anniversary. During the exhibition of the Miró´s paintings, sound stains was used. The four sound sources were distributed around the rooms of the exposition. To promote the event, the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró produced a CD with a virtual exhibition. Unfortunately, the original installation with Miguel Rubio´s paintings has never been premiered.

The second version dates from late 2010. Miguel redesigned the original idea to open Sound stains to public participation. Paintings are replaced by four aluminum panels in which the attending public can paint, interacting or not, with the sound.  The public could participate through two MIDI keyboards and two microphones. The information from these devices is processed by a Max/Msp patch.

2001 Original comments for the version of the original performance with paintings by Miguel Rubio

We try to create a multimedia space in which participants can choose the most interesting type of stimuli.  It is intended that the attending public seek and find, their own relationships between these stimuli. It is not given, a priori, what elements will determine which ones. A person may hate the music and just ignore it, making a tour seeing the paintings. What people are listening to is determined by the route they choose. Another person can just decide not to move and go ahead with auditory stimuli. Another one can make its own musical composition moving from side to side looking for interesting sound fragments. Being its position in space what will be determined by its sound interest. Another person may have an intuition about a possible image-sound relationship and take a tour determined by this relationship.

The short version of 2007 with the original paintings by Miguel Rubio for the original version of the installation in 2001

So we have several elements, a series of paintings, several sound sources, without any hierarchy or determination flow a priori. The settling of determination flows depends on each one of the individuals. Music can determine how space is lived. Space can determine how we listen to it. The role is in the audience. Miguel and I just only put several elements to make this event possible.

Each one of the four sound fragments is independent and has a different duration. They are reproduced looped and interspersed with silence fragments of the same length. The overlapping of the four fragments allows several hours without repeating. The event does not have a fixed duration.  The optimum time is around 20 minutes, but the event itself can last several hours.


One of the original paintings by Miguel Rubio (stain)

Musically speaking, the fragments were constructed similarly to Sounds for occupying impossible spaces, but each fragment possesses full autonomy, using different materials and electronic music techniques.

manchas y silencios

Another of the original paintings by Miguel Rubio (Silence)