Devine spent three months during 2018 as Sound Artist in Residence at V&A Museum. Prof Eric de Visscher of V&A Research Institute (VARI) commissioned her to make a work for a case of 19th century classical Indian instruments in the South Asia Gallery of the V&A Museum as part of London Design Festival.
Throughout the residency period, Devine developed Resonant Bodies – a 4 channel sound installation using a system of transducers to bring the sounds of the instruments within the case to life on the surface of the glass – which effectively acts as a giant speaker. There are two transducers on the case itself through which are diffused the sounds of the actual Bin Sitar within the case as well as the sounds of a tanpura, saraswati veena, rabaab, sarangi, tabla and surbahar. Devine used samples from the Darbar Musical Wonders of India project as a starting point for a composition that animates the display case and floats throughout the South Asia Gallery. Two further speakers hidden on top of the case diffuse field recordings from Goa and other folk recordings upwards toward the high ceiling.
The V&A made a video documenting Resonant Bodies.
Listen below to an excerpt from Devine’s Resonant Bodies that featured on Nick Luscombe’s Late Junction show on BBC Radio 3, 16 July 2019. The Bin Sitar sample is of Ustad Bahauddin Dagar playing the actual restored instrument from within the case for the Darbar Musical Wonders of India project.
Prof Eric de Visscher wrote an article about Resonant Bodies that was published in the Jan 2019 International Council of Museums CIMCIM bulletin. Read the article below.