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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore

Meet Mira Calix, who puts wasps on stage and her audience in a maze

Delivered... Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore | Scene | Thu 15 Jan 2015 4:00 am

The composer and artist on getting music out of stones, palaces out of paper, training an insect string quartet and why art is 49% problem-solving

In 2003, Mira Calix premiered her groundbreaking musical composition Nunu in London. On stage at the Royal Festival Hall were an orchestra (no surprises there), Calix (playing electronics), and then the insects – both live and recorded. The piece revolved around wasps. Calix used them like a string quartet.

Their songs were taped in an anechoic chamber at the Natural History Museum of Geneva. In this vault, which is free of echo, Calix sourced the kind of sounds that human beings are normally unable to pick up. She expounds wide-eyed: “I heard amazing things like ants walking or moths coming up out of their pulps.”

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