Metal allowed the production of all kinds of tools and, due to its specific properties and good formability and workability, became a body extension method of human development. It became synonymous with progress and modernity. The Steel Girls deal with the haptic quality as a prehistoric approach to the material. At the same time also with methods of processing metal. The resulting sounds also find a dialogue as digitalized representations through spectral analyses in the form of resyntheses and transformations as new ephemeral shapes that resonate in many ways with the instruments generated in this process. The interplay of these many levels also reveals the performative quality in the engagement with this material.
Steel Girls let metal speak in a practical, simple form that makes sensual poetry possible. It’s not just about the allure of production, such as welding as performance, but also about the challenge of acoustics, the exhaustion of acoustic possibilities with and without electronics in space. Roughness is shaped rather than standardized, proportions are brought into the light so that something new can emerge. The beauty of metal they find in junkyards or backyards reveals reformulated a radical musical context.
Angelica Castello (MX/AT), Tobias Leibetseder (AT) and Astrid Schwarz (AT) are composers and sound artists based in Vienna. They began experimenting with each other 15 years after their first encounter at an electronic music festival in 2017, where they all performed in different ensembles. 2020 composer, sound artist and singer Martina Claussen (AT) joined the ensemble. With the construction of self-welded steel instruments, they have been developing their own sound language, which they presented for example at ZKM in Karlsruhe, Ars Electronica in Linz, Wien Modern or Alte Schmiede in Vienna.