The Arabic term jinn means “invisible beings.” The jinn are sentient beings who are composed from subtle matter. Before Islam, they were worshiped as gods, as tutelary deities, or as spiritual protectors not only in the Arabian Peninsula but also in neighboring areas…. In Qu’ran… there is mention that [the jinn] are created from ‘scorching winds’ and ‘a smokeless fire,’ and it is also said that they are like humans in that they are rational beings

Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia (Ed. Josef Meri, 2006, p.420)

The concept of Jinn in Arab culture is used as a metaphor for addressing the question of the musicality inherent in human bodily movement. Movement sonification in musical ways has been one of my main interests when working with dance.

In 2003, Carlos Guedes and  Kirk Woolford began developing artistic works addressing the perception of human bodily motion, in pieces such as Côr ( Guedes, Ula li & Wollford, 2003), Will.0.w1sp (Wollford & Guedes, 2005) or Echo Locations (Woolford & Guedes) 2008). Through Jinn, different perspectives for perceiving the relationship between bodily movement and its inherent musicality are presented in three distinct ways: (1) by performing the sonification of movement in real time with a musical instrument that was created for that purpose; (2) by removing the body from a video in which the sound and the trace left by the movement remain as the witnesses of this relationship; and (3) by presenting a synthetic rendering of the movement performed by the dancer in the form of a graphical particle system that gets synthetically sonified. As the body gets progressively dematerialized, the relationship between movement and its musicality becomes increasingly more apparent and clear.

Jinn, a choreomusical work conceived and performed by Carlos Guedes, Kirk Woolford, Nella Turkki, Cristina Ioan, and Kiori Kuwai

Choreography and Animation: Kirk Woolford
Music: Carlos Guedes
Dance: Nella Turkki
Flute: Cristina Ioan
Sound recording & technical assistance: João Menezes

More information on the Jinn performance is available at:

The Animation is a real-time recording played live from Unity3D. The piece exists in linear video, VR, and AR formats.