Music (by Madonna)
Video/sound installation
Manipulated music videos, multi-channel sound, 5.1 DVD with 5 Rolen-Star Audio transducers

images / text / sound

Music (by Madonna) is based on the observation in recent years that pop singers have increasingly been using breathing sounds in their songs. The breathing is used as a stylistic device intended to express a sense of intensity and intimacy, but also authenticity. It is an artificial human touch, similar to the Photoshop “dust” filter that adds scratches to digital images to make them appear more real. The work is based on the album of the same name by the heavily and distinctly breathing pop star Madonna.

Music (by Madonna) contains ten songs, three of which have also been released as music videos. The sound is transmitted by five audio transducers mounted on the walls of the exhibition space. Instead of the usual loudspeaker membrane, the walls themselves become resonance surfaces by means of the transducers and thus function like loudspeakers. The sound rather emanates from a whole area, then from a particular point.

The videos are showed on a flat screen monitor. On the whole, the structure of the work is based on three film and five sound tracks assembled from the ten songs on the album Music by Madonna. Jens Brand filters all the breathing sounds of each song from this material and uses them to create a new composition. Each time Madonna breathes in one of her songs, it is switched to the next loudspeaker. Because the number of breathing sounds differs from song to song, their displacement is irregular. A song in which there are 40 breathing sounds moves eight times across the set of five loudspeakers over the course of the record, while another song, in which only five breathing sounds are heard, circulates only once.

Produced with the support of the State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia, Harvestworks, New York and the Experimental Intermedia Foundation, New York.