BELIE by Sophia Sagaradze

People fail to express themselves sometimes. By Insecurity or deception.

BELIE is a spatialised sound installation and interactive live performance where some objects, movements, and interactions sonically create a subjective reality full of failed impressions. Sophia will process some sounds created in the room and distribute them into a multichannel setup using different panning techniques.

Sophia Sagaradze is a sound artist, composer, and performer from Georgia based in Denmark. She holds a master's degree in electronic composition (DIEM) from the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus and a bachelor's degree in classical composition from Tbilisi State Conservatoire in Georgia. She has recently got a talent prize in composition from Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen’s Foundation. Currently, her artistic work focuses on multichannel electronics, interactive installations, and multidisciplinary performances.
Sophia creates works that revolve around the role and the borders between reality as an outer world and unreality as a boundless inner world.
Sophia is a founder and leader of Aarhus Lydforening.
Since August 2022 Sophia has been a lecturer at the Royal Academy of Music Aarhus/Aalborg.

Supported by Aarhus Unge Tonekunstnere (AUT), Music City Aarhus 2022, Aarhus Kommune & Radar

Interview with Sophia by Frej Ganzler:

SOPHIA SAGARADZE IS ALWAYS immersed in sound. As a Georgian sound artist and performer as well as being the founder and leader of Aarhus Lydforening – an association that supports electronic music and sound art in the capital of Jutland – she has been doing electronic compositions for the last three years. With the title BELIE, she is now doing an immersive sound installation and interactive live performance about failing to express yourself as you want to. The artwork takes place at Radar in Aarhus the 24th of November and will sure be “different”.

First of all, Sophia, a lot of people might not know what immersive sound is. How do you explain it?

"So, the sounds we hear in everyday life are always special and immersive. That’s also the reason why I’m using a setup that imitates real life, where I don’t have a concrete stage and just one direction of the sound. The sounds will come from everywhere and the multi-channel setup can trigger sounds from the back or from the ceiling or around the audience, so you don't know where the sounds are coming from."

So it’s kind of like an extended version of stereo?

"Yeah, maybe you can say that but it’s a different feeling. With stereo you have two lines where the sound can move between left and right. But immersive sound is more like you're surrounded by sound. You can feel the movements in between the sounds even more than in stereo."

You are currently working on BELIE – an immersive sound installation that will take place at Radar the 24th of November. What can the audience expect from this?

"That's a tough question because I don't even know what I'm expecting myself exactly, haha! But I do have some idea and I have some steps that I’ll do, but I also want to be open and see what happens. The audience is going to enter the room and experience something different than they usually do at concerts. They should feel like they are in the middle of everything; entering a room where all their movements affect the music, the sounds or the lights in the room. The title ‘BELIE’ also expresses the idea behind the composition and installation: It is something unstable and breaking, something that is hidden and have two different intentions. It’s when you are failing to express something correctly."

Practically speaking, how will the installation work?

"We will change the room completely, so we’re going to have a lot of light and things hanging from the ceiling. I’m going to have microphones inside the room that trigger and record sounds. There will also be a few instruments in the room. I will process the sounds live and distribute it into the space. But I don’t want the audience to see me sitting there and produce the sounds. I'm not sure whether I’ll be on the stage or hidden somewhere yet. I just want the audience to be in the middle of the room and close their eyes or watch how lights are creating space around them. I want them to concentrate on themselves instead of me performing something."

This leads me on to the introduction of BELIE which says: “Sophia creates works that revolve around the role and the borders between reality as an outer world and unreality as a boundless inner world” What does this mean?

"So, as a composer I try to imitate something imaginary and endless but at the same time it’s a part of the real world. Like, the audience is in the room, listening to something real. They see, touch and trigger something real. But at the same time there are 3D-sounds and visuals that are not typical and seem like they come from an imaginary world. You will feel like, "Okay, this is not reality". You should be open to imagine you are somewhere else."

Some people might not be familiar with immersive sound installations such as this, so how do you think the audience into the project?

"I definitely think about the audience and that’s the reason why I use multi-channel setup. I want them to be in the center of everything. I want them to experience something different. Sometimes I also prefer to work in stereo but in this case, I feel like I want them to be in the middle. I want them to trigger the sounds and have interactive possibilities. I think that’s also the way you can attract them; when they have bigger roles as performers than the usually have."

Why should people go and see BELIE?

"If you want to experience something different, something in between exhibition, installation, sound art and a concert, you should come. And besides, my concerts are not too long – I don’t like long concerts, haha!"