This year’s Football World Cup, held in South Africa, has been dominated by a colorful plastic horn instrument called the ‘vuvuzela’. As the several countries were being eliminated from the World Cup, they probably suffered a process of ‘devuvuzelation’: a few days of ‘national mourning’ followed by a progressive return to normality. Fewer and fewer vuvuzelas were heard until they completely died out.
Curiously enough, the sound of the typical plastic vuvuzela appeared in my spectrum analyzer with around 32 significant partials: one partial per each national team present in the World Cup.
I created a sound image of the ‘devuvuzelation’ process by progressively eliminating each partial from the spectrum of the vuvuzela sound sample as each team was being eliminated from the World Cup. In the end, only the partial correspondent to the World Cup Winner will be heard. Then, silence.
I set the following rules for the process:
- The relative volume of each of the 32 partials follows the relative classification of the national teams in the FIFA ranking before the World Cup;
- The length of the piece is proportional to the number of days of the World Cup plus two extra days of celebration for the winning team, with 1 day corresponding to 10 seconds;
- The instant in the sound piece where a certain partial is removed corresponds to the date where the correspondent national team was eliminated from the World Cup.
Rui Costa is a sound artist from Lisbon, Portugal. He has been publicly presenting his work since 1998. He is a founding member and artistic director of Binaural. He developed a series of sound works focused on the translation to the sonic domain of other realities such as the tourist’s experience of Lisbon (“Sightseeing for the Blind”) and an account of a train trip (“Le Train de Bordeaux”, based on a short story by Marguerite Duras). Rui Costa collaborated with the Spanish musician Iñaki Ríos, with whom he developed electronic composition systems programmed on Max/MSP, Lisa and Csound and developed a series of site-specific works in Nodar. In 2007, he started a collaboration with the vocal performer Manuela Barile with a project entitled “La Scatola”, which was conceived as a series of installations and audiovisual performances. Rui Costa is a regular speaker in lectures and gives workshops dedicated to sound art.