Sound Sculpture Tvísöngur

Looking like a cluster of igloos, this sound sculpture is ideal for traditional Icelandic singing.

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“It is great fun visiting this work of art, trying to sing in all the domes teaches one a lot about acoustics. This area is quiet and tranquil and one doesn’t have to feel embarrassed about raising one’s voice to sing out loud”

Regína Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir

Constructed from smooth thick concrete, each of these reverberant chambers has been tuned to a different frequency corresponding to a tone in traditional Icelandic five-part harmony. It’s by German artist Lukas Kühne and is called Tvísöngur or The Duet. You can hear the resonances either by singing, or through the wind whistling through the openings.

Here is a short snippet of singing without (anechoic) and then with the sculpture.

Anechoic singing
Singing in Tvísöngur

Impulse responses are available for the sculpture if you want to use them in a convolution reverb.

Location

Tvisongur is located on a mountainside above the town of Seydisfjordur. It is a 15-20 minute hike on a gravel road that starts across from Brimberg Fish Factory. Open all the time to visit.

Credits

Photo: Navin Rajagopalan

Sound samples: Oliver McIntyre

Author: Trevor Cox

I am a Professor of Acoustic Engineering at the University of Salford where I carry out research and teaching focussing on architectural acoustics, signal processing and audio perception. I am also an author and radio broadcaster having presented many documentaries on BBC radio and written books for academics and the general public.