About this artwork

Philipsz is interested in the ways that sound and space can define and mediate each other, creating immersive installations that draw from musical, literary and historical references. Seven Tears is composed of seven synchronised record players, each of which plays a single tone from English composer John Dowland’s (1563–1626) Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares Figured in Seaven Passionate Pavans, 1604. Lachrimae is based upon the motif of a falling tear, and as with many of Dowland’s works, it is melancholic in mood. To make the work, Philipsz took individual tones from each of Dowland’s seven Lachrimae, and produced each on tuned glasses filled with water and played with a wetted finger.

Updated before 2020

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    Seven Tears
  • date created:
    2016
  • materials:
    Seven-channel sound installation, 12" vinyl records, 17 min, looped
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased with the support of the Contemporary Art Society and the Henry Moore Foundation 2018
  • accession number:
    GMA 5596
  • gallery:
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Susan Philipsz

Susan Philipsz