The quartet in Anima is augmented by a cast of mobile transducers that transform the instruments into active agents of projection. Like stethoscopes listening in on the secrets of the body, players trace these transducers across the surface of their instruments, from F-holes to fingerboards, from backs to bridges, breathing animate sound as they move into these inanimate objects. As the work unfolds, these migratory stethoscopes of sound become entangled in a volatile chain of feedback that threatens to overtake the virtuosos who manipulate them. Such tactics pose provocative questions of the instruments. Are they golems: lumps of clay until incanted into life Or Frankensteins: destined to resist the ones who made them Anima looks for an electric blood, a digital breath, a monstrous becoming inside the pristine tradition of the string quartet.
The work was commissioned by GMEM-CNCM-Marseille, Théâtre d'Orléans, IRCAM-Centre Pompidou and ProQuartet, with support from ULYSSES Network, as part of the EU programme "Creative Europe."