Whistling and Light Switch Piece

This is sound pieces consisting of 5 minutes improvised whistling, disrupted by switching the light on/off for each breathing.


The piece as a whole is evolving, and the amount of recordings will grow.


As an experiment, try to play multiple of them at the same time, where you decide which ones to start and when. The combinations of layered pieces are countless.

Piece I (low volume)

Piece II (broad variation)

Piece III (attempt on monotones)

Pieve IV (semi monotonous)

Piece V (semi monotonous)

Notes on performance (11/07/2022):

Dry libs

Heavy arms at the light switch

A starting headache

The lungs feeling empty

A search for new tones – clear tones – tones of truth

My mouth being tired

My lungs being small

The sound waves’ story of a smaller room than excepted

The switch surprising me – waking me up

The microphones being a strange attachment

Feeling staged

Feeling free

Am I alone?

Do my neighbors hear me?

Lowering my head slowly while sitting

Counting seconds while kissing the air

Seconds running fast

Stressing my breathing

The pulse going up

New sounds entering from the street outside of the apartment

Is this a bad thing?

Hating my sounds (hating myself for doing this)

Not sitting straight

My back is starting to hurt

One sound made me feel good

A surprise

Another sound came out different than excepted – why?

Cutting sharp at five minutes

Instruction manual for piece:

  1. Sit next to a light switch
  2. Start whistling
  3. Start recording
  4. Switch the light switch for each breath, in or out
  5. Continue the whistling and switching
  6. Keep recording for 5 minutes (or sudden period of own wish)
  7. Keep the raw recording of the piece – included for example the breathing, microphone noise, sounds of the location etc.


The piece is offering a recording of unique sound combinations and conditions – a witness to the variation and chances which we are entangled with.

Your whistling is always already unique – this as a concept is perhaps worth listening to.

Listening is not limited to follow ones breathing, thus it is deeply connected to the breathing we do by ourself, and together.


The concept of turning something ‘on/off’, like a light switch, is challenged by the practice of listening. When is it really ‘on’, when is it really off? Do we even know in presence of listening? Listening is perhaps not something we can turn ‘on’ in the same way as other senses or integrated abilities, and listening is likely easier to turn ‘off’ rather than ‘on’, but we do not necessarily hold any exclusive control over the practice of listening. Listening as practice invites its practicer – we can are not always allowed to enter. The agency of listening much be respected and explored within the context of our limitations. Sometime we are powerless in the presence of of listening.



These pieces have been made due to inspiration from the work of Anna Jermolaeva (b. 1970, St. Petersburg. Lives in Vienna).


Especially the work:

On/Off, 1999

Video, oo’15”, loop

Perhaps a note for justification:


This work is not exactly meaningless, but a claim of meaning is not exactly the claim for the work either.