J A C O B  K I R K E G A A R D

O P U S  M O R S

A sound work on four significant environments for the immediate post-mortem

Opus Mors is four listening spaces for one of the most existential and natural aspects of being alive, which is death. The project portrays the four most common sound environments that human body will be surrounded by or exposed to in the immediate post mortem: a morgue, an autopsy, a cremation or the decomposition - events that no one will ever get to sense on their own bodies because of the very fact of death. The work is an immersive, intimate and powerfully detailed sonic meditation into the four significant death spaces

O P U S  M O R S
consists of four unique works, each composed from sound recordings from the following four significant environments:

O P U S  M O R T U R A R I U M
reveals the ambience inside a morgue heard through the slow tones from the facilities that keep the corpses cold

O P U S  A U T O P S I A
are detailed and precise near-field sound recordings of a full autopsy starting with opening the corpse, following the removal and slicing and cutting open all the organs and brain, to finally returning all the organs, closing and washing the corpse. This work demonstrates each unique sonic timbre of the human organs

O P U S  C R E M A T I O
is a cremation starting from the coffin being rolled into the oven, its different burning stages, the removal and relocation of the ashes to the ash cooler and then to the bone crusher. Finally, the ashes are being poured into the urn. Vibration sensors placed on the surfaces of the oven reveals the sound environment of the oven as if heard from the inside

O P U S  P U T E S C O
is sound recordings made at a forensic study facility where donated corpses are placed in an enclosed nature area to decompose while being studied. The knowledge of the different stages of decomposing bodies help the police in forensic evidence cases. This work was made from sound recordings of decomposing corpses recorded with microphones placed only 1 cm above - as well as with sensors placed inside the corpses

The sound recordings of two autopsies and in the morgue were made possible with permission from professor in forensic medicine at the University of Southern Denmark Peter Mygind Leth, deputy chief forensic pathologist Peter Thiis Knudsen and forensic technicians Tonny Hansen and Jan Leth. The sound recordings of three cremations were made with permission from crematory operators Michael Hansen and Ole Pedersen at Odense Crematorium, Denmark. Sound recordings of three decomposing corpses were made possible with permission from Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State University
Image: Microscopy of heat-affected human tissue

OPUS MORS will be released as an exclusive limited edition 4 x vinyl box set in Autumn of 2019.
Contact Jacob Kirkegaard if you want to reserve a copy


Jacob Kirkegaard © 2019