old taxi driver

taxi drivers in Berlin


The piece’s subject is translation and the untranslatable, inspired by Jacques Derrida’s “What Is a “Relevant” Translation? “, and “the merchant of Venice” by Shakespeare. As in the merchant of Venice, Dunietz is searching for the “pound of flesh”, the part that is not translatable, the little bit that disappears when transposing the words. The part in the word that has a smell, the part that is lost when one text is told in many languages. Another inspiration is Dunietz’s last couple of visits to Berlin, when listened to the undercurrents of the languages around she was intrigued by the relation between power and language, particularly in this place in the world.

Dunietz’s reverberating sound work will be layered through a 12 amplifiers choir, an original pre-composed soundtrack, live music, video and real time sound processing. Text recorded during the work process, introducing a variety of characters and languages, is the material to be processed through a special text-grinding- machine built for the installation to be refined gradually to the parts that are untranslatable. The work will try to translate into musical language these exact parts of language that are bind with collective memory, cultural and historical climate, childhood smells and flavors. At the end of the process, a very condensed matter that is impossible to translate will be crystallized.

12 amplifiers, mikes, a piano and motion sensors (that activate sound) are installed in the presentation space, on each Dunietz will perform her new piece. This conscious and unexpected sound system is fiercely effected by and reacts to the surroundings, audience and performers. The refined matter that is purified by the system is the point where music begins. Performers are situated in the presentation space as well, their voices are recorded, processed and heard in new forms, as well as relationships between them and their ways of communication that are transformed through the work. The audience physically activates and the process by being present at the space. 


The work will present in the various languages that inhabit the public spaces of Tel Aviv; Hebrew, Arabic, English, Polish, Russian, Tigrinya, Hausa, German, Amharic.    

Participating artists

Maya Dunietz – Artist, Composer

Programmers: Yair Reshef and Giyori Politi will program the “filtering system” processing the recordings




working on the max patch with the geniuses giori Politi and Yair Reshef
little excerpt from Maya Dunietz’s sound installation

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