Pneumaphones is a collection of pneumatic soundsculptures designed by Godfried-Willem Raes. Flutes, single-reeds, lipps, tongues, double-reeds, sirens, whistles, membranes, mirlitons, water-organs and cavity-resonators make up the individual voice of each single pneumaphone. Sit or lie down on the tetrahedron shaped yellow cushions to let each pneumaphone sound.
Music is air in motion. Without air there can be no music, because sound only exists where the air vibrates. Pneumaphone makes air move, compresses the air in many lungs, in 20 inflated cushions. The audience is invited to sit, roll, bounce or lie down on the cushions to make the air move.
The sounds produced depend on the movements of these lungs, on the movements of the people joining the pneumaphone, on the people being seduced by it. Pneumaphone integrates sound and movement intrinsically. Movement becomes tactile and sensual; a roll of bodies in a bath of vibrating air; a living musical environment, an invitation to active participation, to move through.
Pneumaphone was built according to a design and concept by the Flemish music-maker Godfried-Willem Raes. Its realisation involved the entire Ghent-based Logosteam and took a few years of research and labour.
The project was realised technically with the support and help of Moniek Darge, Tom Flamant and Guy De Bievre. A first version and try-out took place as a result of a commission for the German city of Essen, on the occasion of their annual “Klang und Spielstrasse”.
Since then, the project – in an ever-growing format – has been presented at the Eindhoven ‘Apollohouse’, the Bonn ‘Beethovenhalle’, the Brussels ‘Atelier’, the Ghent Royal Conservatory, at Neerpelt, the Stuttgart ‘Kulturkilometer’, the Ferarra ‘Aterforum-festival’, in Meise and ‘De Singel’ in Antwerp.
The Pneumaphone project can be presented to audiences in three different ways : firstly, as an installation piece for audience participation – a kind of acoustic or musical playground if you like; a second way of presenting the project is in the format of a concert for Pneumaphones alone; or, lastly, as a concerto for organ and Pneumaphones.