ÆTER, it can hear, it can play


At the end of the 1920s, while the United States was preparing to be overwhelmed by one of the biggest economic crises in recent history, Soviet Russia knocked at the door of its adversary, America, presenting the first (and still the only) instrument in the world to play without touching the musician. With this gesture, the Russians, perhaps without being fully aware of it, were writing one of the most important pages of electronic music: from the hands of physicist and cellist Lev Sergeevi Termen, was born the Theremin. This invention, which has been in operation for some years, fascinated Lenin and a large part of the European public. The etherophone was in fact making amazing visuals: the musician, for the first time in history, became a demiurge, a magical priest who with the only movement of his arms and hands gave birth to the ethereal sound that we can still hear in today many films from the ’40s and ’50s onwards and in numerous songs of all kinds. The complex life and works of Lev Sergeevi Termen inspired Danish artist and composer Christian Skjødt in the creation of “ÆTER”, an immersive and interactive sound environment which is constantly evolving. A series of antennas, copper circles connected to analog electronics and subwoofers are waiting, motionless, ready to “listen” and translate the electromagnetic waves of everything that is stationary or moving around them. The created environment is not only an interface between the visitor and the artwork, but a real interconnected network constantly contaminated, where antennas perceive and tell an invisible history, with the ethereal and morbid voice of Hitchcock movies. Benedetta Sabatini


Christian Skjødt – ÆTER