• Sohaila Mosbeh

Scandinavian Pain

Class 01- Inspirational sound


It was very hard to pick a precise moment where a musical experience was inspirational to me. I mean I still get super excited when ever I discover a new song, like an annoying kid with a new art project I shove these treasure finds into my friends ears until they give in and listen. So I couldn't pick between the first moment I started playing the drums pretty bad to the countless of concerts that I lost my voice at.


Then I remembered this one random installation me and my father stumbled upon by coincidence. We decided last Christmas to take a trip out to Arizona to see the grand canyon and hike a bit, least to say my dad wasn't found of immense walking for the sake of fun. So we decided to check out the local museums in the city, our first stop was the Phoenix art museum. After walking around the oddly empty and echoy museum, we happened upon a big pink Neon light piece that read Scandinavian Pain. My father thought the name was very funny and asked

"what makes this pain specifically Scandinavian?" I didn't answer him because I wasn't mentally ready for whatever dad joke will come next. The security that was working on the floor answered back "It's the name of this piece sir" as he pointed at a large black tarp behind him.

We turned around facing away from the bright neon sign and walked over to the dark maze tarp that seemed to lead to nowhere. The second we stepped in I could hear distant voices in the dark, a voice of someone singing. was it just one voice? I could have sworn I heard more than one? The deeper we walked the more it became clearer. It was multiple voices singing and playing instruments, at the same time projected on multiple screens within the center of the maze. It felt so serene hearing the harmonization of all these voices on different screens. The more we moved within the space, closer to one screen the less I hear the rest. It was a funny phenomena, playing with sounds perception in space. I get closer to this man singing in a bath tub then suddenly the man playing the piano behind me completely disappears but i can hear the woman on my right only on my right softly singing. I started hoping from screen to screen trying to compose my own song with their voices, telling my own version of their story of how they got to where they are. I started with the family sitting outside in front of a big creaking out, the only sound that same out was the soft wind and crickets, I then ran to the only man playing on the piano softly by himself. Then quickly in a spiral went from the woman singing to the cello back to the man in the tub, the faster I spun the funnier it got.



I am not quite sure how long me and my father stayed inside,but we both walked out feeling this strange sweet melancholy and thinking how that title made some sense a bit now. Though it didn't look like pain because a part of me really wanted to be in that old creaking house.

https://www.artsy.net/show/phoenix-art-museum-ragnar-kjartansson-scandinavian-pain-and-other-myths


© 2018 by Sohaila Mosbeh.