Hearing and feeling are bound together in the Italian word sentire. Interdisciplinary project Sentire weaves these senses together using bracelets with sensors that connect movement and contact to sound. The textures, timbres and rhythms of a sound environment are transformed by the interactive system of Sentire based on the distance and tactile encounters between two participants. The algorithmic sound environment currently has eight configurations ranging from spacey and atmospheric to percussive and rhythmic, with touch and proximity each transforming the environment differently.
During a participatory performance, attendees step out from the circle of spectators, one at a time, to engage with a guiding performer for 6-10 minutes each. In order to intensify the experience, interactive scenarios accompany the more spontaneous movements: for example, sitting, closing the eyes, focusing on specific parts of the body as well as techniques developed in contact improvisation.
Sentire goes beyond one-way performance insofar as the participant does not carry out pre-specified actions, but is brought back to what they already are, physically and emotionally. Previous participants reported an intimate connectedness to the other person, to touch, hearing and proprioception, the awareness of the body in space. The empathetic possibilities of touch, in particular, are often unnoticed in our attention-poor world concerned with images and screens.