Approaching a Cello from the South

Süden Radio 2013


To approach something from the south is to radically reorient yourself in relation to an object - to view it upside down, back to front, etc.

Approaching a Cello from the South (2013) is an attempt to sculpt the negative space of a cello to transform the empty space of the cello’s resonating chamber into a sounding object in itself, rather than simply a means of amplification.

A contact microphone was placed inside the body of a cello and used to record the resonating chambers’ silence. This sound was then played back through a small speaker (also placed inside the body of the cello) and re-recorded a number of times allowing the resonant frequencies of the instrument’s interior to reinforce one another until audible tone’s appeared.

The result then, is a sound sculpture of the interior space of the cello - a sonic negative of the instrument’s shape.


Henry Andersen has a Bachelor’s Degree in Composition ad Music Technology at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and he studies composition with Peter Ablinger. In 2013 he was artist in residence at Arteles Centre in Finland and he was selected for the Batârd International Arts Festival (Belgium). He was commission a solo double-bass work by Caleb Salgado and he collaborated with Quiver and Decibel New Music. In 2012 he was shortlisted for the WASO Young Composer’s Competition.


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