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Owners of Klien’s collectibles can work together to compose an audio-visual art piece that spans continents. 


Brooklyn, NY –, an art production platform bridging art and blockchain, is releasing a new collaboration with artist and composer Volkmar Klien, Sometimes a Thousand Twangling Instruments . Having explored new possibilities in communal ownership of video artworks using blockchain technology with acclaimed artists Eve Sussman and Tommy Hartung, launches its latest artist collaboration to explore the relationships between sound, visuals, ownership, and communal composition by letting users organize tokenized sound drawings to create unique musical scores. 


Named after a line from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Sometimes a Thousand Twangling Instruments is an open, multi-layered work of art composed of a series of 2,000 unique digital sound drawings. In each sound drawing, a one-of-a-kind image is connected to a singular recorded sound, for which the image serves as a visual index. Each drawing effectively acts as a visual hieroglyph to an unknown sonic language, that the collectors can explore through audio-visual composition.

Collectors can participate in the project by purchasing sound drawings and arranging them in the Sometimes a Thousand Twangling Instruments player. These arrangements become a musical score composed by the buyer, which these collectors can save and share with others. Buyers can also simply collect sound drawings, storing them in their private archive, which they can peruse at will—like a private collection, or personal gallery. 


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The project also offers an entirely new way for art collectors to engage with the artist’s work by allowing them to share their private archives and use the shared libraries to create collaborative audio-visual compositions. Collectors can opt to make their private sound drawings available to the project’s community, and a purchase of just a single sound drawing in turn gives its owner access to archives shared by other collectors.

The use of blockchain in this project goes beyond tracking of ownership of individual artworks, as applied this technology for validation of shared collections and access to them, thus expanding on exploration of communal ownership. Every collector participating in the creation of audio-visual compositions can add, move, and scale any shared sound drawings creating a visual collage and a resulting audio score. Collectors can also buy, sell, and trade sound drawings with other collectors, adding yet another social layer to the project. 

In addition to those available for purchase, a small sample of sound drawings from the collection will be made available to the public in order to sample the composition process. Users can use these pieces to create audio-visual arrangements, but will not be able to save or share their works. Sound drawings will be made available for purchase with a simple credit card transaction, while more advanced collectors could acquire the artwork using Ethereum cryptocurrency. 


I’ve been building machines that allow new forms of interaction with people, interactions with sound, interactions with environment,” says Klien. “To bring Sometimes a Thousand Twangling Instruments into the blockchain, we’ll need to create very new ways of using the blockchain for making a collaborative space for communal musical composition. I’m rather excited to see where this whole thing will take us.” 


Klien previewed the project on September 7, 2019, at St. Florian Abbey, as part of the Ars Electronic Festival in Linz, Austria. One of the world’s largest media art venues, Ars Electronica hosted digital pioneers, award-winning artists, and cutting edge scientists at this year’s five-day festival, titled, “Out of the Box—The Midlife Crisis of the Digital Revolution.” 

Sometimes a Thousand Twangling Instruments is part of a larger work by Klien, titled Das Audiovisuelle Archiv , or The Audiovisual Archive . The work encompasses both digital and physical audio-visual works, including 3-dimensional versions of his blockchain-based, audio-visual collectibles. 


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Volkmar Klien Interview


About the artist:

Growing up in Vienna, Volkmar Klien spent his childhood engulfed in the city’s rich musical life. Today, Klien strives to extend traditional practices of composing, producing, and listening beyond the established settings of concert music. His works—often collaborations with his brother, Michael—have been presented at the ZKM Karlsruhe, Ballet Frankfurt, the Hayward Gallery London, and, most recently, by the Martha Graham Company in cooperation with the New Museum in New York. 

Klien has been awarded the State Scholarship for Composition of the Republic of Austria, the Max Brand Prize for Electronic Music, the Scholarship of the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra, the Alban Berg Stipendium, and the Gustav Mahler Prize for Composition. He has a PhD in electroacoustic composition from the City University in London, and is currently a professor and director of the institute for composition, conducting and computer music at the Anton Bruckner University in Linz, Austria. Klien also serves as a curator for the Alte Schmiede in Vienna and, most recently, the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz. 



Brooklyn’s is an art production platform and a digital laboratory for art and technology that taps into the creative possibilities of the blockchain. Founded by Andy Alekhin and Misha Libman, (pronounced 

‘Snark dot art’) works in collaboration with artists in the creation, distribution, and sales of works that harness blockchain’s decentralized community, digital scarcity, and seemingly endless applications. A bridge between art and blockchain, provides a unique perspective by creating accessibility and creative exchange between the two communities. 


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