Quiet Before the Storm

Matteo Marangoni

2013 - 2015

“What interests me the most in is how a relatively simple phenomenon when inserted into a ritual and aesthetic sphere becomes a vector for transcendence”.

-Interview with Matteo Marangoni, ATP Diary

“the irresistible impulse to physically traverse these spaces calls attention to the presentiment of finding oneself within a gigantic resonance chamber: we find ourselves resonating here, traversed by a strange air current. And we are not comfortable external spectators, as we are catapulted at the center of the armonium as never before”.

-Francesca Alix Nicoli, Artribune


In Dutch, the expression een klap van de molenwiek, literally a hit by the windmill, is used to say that someone is a little bit crazy. The title of this work, Quiet Before the Storm, refers to the sensation of spiritual enlightenment described by Dostoyevsky’s Prince Myshkin in The Idiot, as preceding an epileptic fit, and the notion of numinous sound (sound of divine origin) put forth by the anthropologist Donald Tuzin during his studies of the Bullroarer cult in Papua New Guinea.

In Quiet Before the Storm an ensemble of rotating rubber bands stretched on wooden crosses is used to create a ritual experience in which audible frequencies and infrasound travel through space and around the perceiver, inducing unordinary psychological states. By employing a prehistoric technique of sound production which predates Pythagorean notions of music and mathematics, Quiet Before the Storm addresses cognitive processes concerning perception and transcendence that escape the boundaries of what can be objectively measured, notated or recorded.

Reference: Miraculous Voices: The Auditory Experience of Numinous Objects,  Donald Tuzin, in Current Anthropology, vol 25 (dec., 1984), pp 579-596,  The University of Chicago Press