A tumulus (plural tumuli) is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave, commonly used as burial sites from centuries ago in Scandinavia, the Americans, Europe, and Asian. Each mound is a symbol that something has lived and died. Each mound is a marker and protector of something precious. Emanating from the mounds are whispers from the past, radiant tones of transformation and the echo of memories. Kuffner’s tumuli are life sized monuments. They are both iconic and ironic figures melting into their environment with a perverse beauty backed by a visceral sound of polyrhythmic pulsations.
Each Tumuli has a sound system buried inside of it. Pipes of various widths and length run from the woofers of the speakers to the surface of the mound. Tones are pulsed into the pipes at waveform frequencies that correspond to the size of the pipes in a similar fashion to how pipes are cut to the keys of a vibraphone or pipe organ. Each pipe acts as an extra resonator of the source sound at its principle frequency and corresponding harmonics and overtones. This causes a physical acoustic phenomenon that vibrates the pipe. The number of pipes depends on the size of the mound, noting several mounds can be networked together. Compositions consist of sine waves pulsations in choreographed bursts both long and short. The audience interacts with the work both by listening from different spaces around the mounds as well as sitting or laying on the mounds and feeling the corresponding vibrations.