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Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Tvísöngur

These concrete domes were installed on an Icelandic bluff to honor a very specific musical tradion. 

Berlin artist Lukas Kühne’s bulbous sculpture known as Tvísöngur, mixes concrete, nature, and sound to create an interactive tribute to Iceland’s unique tradition of five-tone harmony. 

Unveiled in 2012, the installation piece looks like a grouping of interconnected cement bubbles from afar. Up close the five segments are actually quite large, ranging from roughly 6 to 12 feet tall and can be entered via rounded arches built into the walls. Once inside the stark industrial domes, visitors will find that they have each been designed to resonate at different harmonies as the wind blowing in off the cliff rushes through the openings. The collective effect is almost as though the wind itself is playing a giant instrument.

The five chambers of the piece are meant to recall the Icelandic musical tradition of quintal harmony, with each dome reflecting a tone in the tradition. Juxtaposed with the serene and stark surroundings, it seems as though Iceland itself is creating the music. Tvísöngur is a permanent work and is meant to keep the country’s musical traditions alive, which is not an easy thing to do simply with concrete.