Staša Guček is creating connections between various fields of art, technology and sound. She is interested in illustration, analog electronics, bioacoustics, field recordings and grows affinity and care for the world of insects and fragile ecosystems. She is developing custom stand-alone analog electronic instruments and mentoring workshops. She is a member of an experimental musical collective Kikimore creating ambiental noise sound scapes. This year they were selected to be part of SHAPE Platform, project supporting innovative music and audiovisual art. Her residency was made possible thanks to collaboration with NEIRO Association.

We invited Staša Guček because of her focus on creating an instrument more welcoming and suitable for visually impaired and blind musicians. So her workshop was one of the follow ups of the project called OUR SPACE, part of an ongoing artistic project of artist and curator Alžběta Bačíková, who invited us to join it and develop a sound project with blind musicians Michaela Blažková and Rachel Skleničková. Synth Library led a workshop in which Michaela and Rachel composed a spatial composition, that was later installed in Liberec Gallery.  During Staša’s workshop Rachel as well as few other participants were able to make their own analog electronic instrument, their Nocturnal Animal.

The set of Nocturnal Animals combines various analog electronic instruments which base is a simple theremin electronic circuits with two potentiometers regulating volume and frequency. The unique feature of the instruments is the design of the circuit which resembles endangered Lepidoptera. Participants of the workshop can choose between home-etched Jersey Tiger, Mountain Apollo, False Ringlet and Sentinel Arctic. Instruments are played with changing the distance of user’s hand to it or gently sliding with fingers over the wing-shaped antennas.

Nocturnal Animals were primary designed as a tactile educational tool for blind and visually impaired to be able to touch the patterns of electronic circuit, but in addition to learn about the shape through soundscapes of theremin. Participants were welcome to try to solder blindfolded with the help of the mentor, no previous experience was needed.

Staša Guček later presented the instrument and her creative process during a lecture at NEIRO Association and also at the Liberec Gallery where the sound installation OUR SPACE was showed.