On Traces

On Traces is the first presentation within an ongoing interdisciplinary research process articulating  the practices of choreography, phonetics and music composition.  

The series of performative inquiries focuses on the relation of bodily movement and vocal sound.


One of the underlying methods established in this process allows for freely inscribing and retracing sonic motion traces in space. This tool enables the performers to create a spatial, sound playground, using their own voices as building material. In turn, this unique sonic environment is closely linked to the movements, which are traced by one point on their bodies. Through exploring these environments in depth, the notions of trace, inscription  and retracing became center points of this research, triggering an avalanche of related questions of perception and attention, language, memory, change and transformation.


In On Traces four performers compose and at the same time play a spatial instrument, surveying  the potential of that shared environment, space constituted of human voice textures, physicalities and lines. 


The origins of this work can be traced back to Embodied Generative Music (EGM), a project initiated by Gerhard Eckel in 2007 at the Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics (IEM), University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Austria. EGM investigated the relationship between musical and bodily expression by extending dancers’ bodies into virtual instruments using a full-body motion tracking system. In 2012, an encounter with Christine Ericsdotter, phonetician at Stockholm University, triggered the On Traces process, which in some aspects proved to be a continuation of the EGM work. Her presentations of short x-ray videos of the human voice apparatus at work, together with workshops on voice and articulation, made us look into possibilities of establishing a connection between the movements of the human vocal organs and body motion in dance. This process was supported by the interdisciplinary research project Dancing the Voice funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation.





Concept, artistic direction and performance: Gerhard Eckel, Christine Ericsdotter, Alexander Gottfarb and Anna Maria Nowak

Software development: Gerhard Eckel and David Pirrò


On Traces is a coproduction between Kunstverein Archipelago and Tanzquartier Vienna and is kindly supported by the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna (MA7), Cultural Ministry of Austria (bka). 

The production was made possible thanks to the great support of the CSC departments “Speech, Music and Hearing” (Sten Ternström, Music Acoustics Group) and “Media Technology and Interaction Design” (Roberto Bresin, Sound and Music Computing Group) at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, the “Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics” of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Austria, and Christine Ericsdotter at the “Department of Language Education”, Stockholm University.