Marc Vilanova

ARESTA is a sculptural sound installation that turns an ensemble of saxophones into a self-functioning entities by making the instruments autonomous. Suspended by custom metal structures, the saxophones no longer need a human body in order to perform. 

Speaker cones are placed inside their bodies allowing sound to resonate through the tube, creating particular timbres for each instrument. A hundred LEDs inside the instruments are activated in synchronization with the sound. They form a choreography of light and create a sense of movement, even while the instruments are motionless. 

The music is generated by a computer, using algorithmic composition and a custom neural network. Trained with 352 Bach chorales, the neural network is capable to harmonize a melody for the saxophone ensemble in Bach’s style for the finale of the piece. ARESTA is a performative installation that questions the need for a human body on stage and the potential obsolescence of his role. 


Commission: FUGA

Residency: Etopia Center for Arts and Technology

Idea, construction, sound/light composition, software, performance: Marc Vilanova

Curation: Santiago Latorre

Production: Eduardo Pérez

Metal production and design: 2monos

AI Technology: DeepBach, ki ga je ustvaril Gaëtan Hadjeres (Sony Computer Science Laboratories)

Software support: Alfredo Ardia

Installation support: Nieves Arilla, Mateu Targa

Saxophone quartet (recording): María Luisa Cuenca, Maria Elisabet Serra, Josep Subirats, Raúl Cuartero

Special thanks: Alberto Bernal, Equipo Etopia, Carlos Maria Romero, Adriana Dumon, Kandis Friesen, Igi Ayedun, Mar Medinyà, Irene Anglada, Joan Albert Gisbert, Familia Vilanova Pinyol

Support: Konvent Puntzero


Marc Vilanova (1991) is a sound and visual artist working at the intersection of art, science and technology. Vilanova’s artistic production has always been led by a spirit of innovation fueled by an interest in new media. Merging research and artistic practices onto projects in which concepts such audio visuality, automation, machine self-expression, AI and superintelligence and the socio-political implications regarding society’s relationship with technology are explored.

Website links