Rodrigo Barriga


For automatic hand dryer

Miniature is the second and last (so far) of a series of pieces I wrote during a period of experimentation in sound using objects and thinking about the relationship between participant and space, the first being Soil, Wind, and Rain. The main goal was the formulation of pieces or sound forms which could be performed by participants without substantial musical background and which were versatile in terms of the places where they could be realized and the tools or objects involved. Sileo, a work that similarly explores music or sound-making in relationship to the space, was also produced during this time.

In order to explore the wide variety of sounds resulting from the different possible hand gestures, I came up with a graphic score – albeit one which borrows several of elements from conventional  “western” notation – that structures these gestures in a suggested pre-composed design.

During the second half of the summer of 2018, I performed and recorded this piece a number of times on three different days at the restroom in two shopping malls in Mexico City – Pabellón Polanco and Antara – in front of an unsuspecting audience of restroom goers. To perform the piece, I had to tape the two pages of the score on top of the hand dryer in order to read them, as my audio recorder stood to the side by the corner of the restroom.

The nature of its performance revealed itself as an additional layer to the function of the work, giving it the quality of “performance art,” not dissimilar from Soil, Wind, and Rain, which I partially performed visible from my very interested neighbors’ windows. To this day, I think of these two works as “sound art” pieces.

Revised score