Helena Sorokina

Singer Vienna, Austria 23 Followers

Latest videos

Recent blog

Already since more than a year the whole world fights hand in hand against one enemy – invisible, sly, versatile and dangerous – called Covid-19 that most literally takes our breath away. Every day the whole media and the main part of daily news is being filled with the information about this virus and its consequences. And still there is one part of us that feels too safe as long as we have no symptoms. On the other side of the society there are people that haven’t left their homes for a whole year because of the huge fear from the unknown beast. This project is an attempt to raise the society’s awareness through the fusion of arts and science. On one hand the visualization and understanding of the process of the infection in the cognitive level through arts and music helps to loosen the shock-induced paralysis and on the other hand the artistically processed knowledge raises awareness on the unconscious level and shows the attacker as real and co-existing. Our goal is to bring this artwork, which is about 7-10 minutes long, to a wide audience, that may not currently have access to the live music and art locally, but has access to the viral world, through the distribution of this material on the Internet (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.).

Science (Marija Sorokina): visualization and modeling of the ACE2 and Spike protein bound and virus mutations

Music (Linda Leimane): sound mutation from one acoustic voice into the electronically distorted and multiplicated crowd

Voice and project coordination (Helena Sorokina): mutation from spoken voice into singing and extended vocal techniques including multiphonics

Video (Viktors Keino): mutation of the scientifical model designed by Marija Sorokina into a fascinating and constantly changing world out of protein models’ particles

Inter – undefined space between the consciousness and unconsciousness
Voicing – luxury of being possible to use breath not only for existential but also for artistic purposes
Sp – Spike protein (viral enemy)
ACE – angiotensin converting enzyme 2 or ACE2 (human entrance door for the virus that can be open or closed)

Global outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic struck the world posing a threat to global health and economy. Covid-19 likewise as flu and many other viruses is an RNA virus. These viruses are known to change in a rapid way. The changes happen during replication, or “copying” of the viral genetic code. These changes are called “mutations” and the viral particles with modified genetic code are called “variants”. Some of these variants are more infectious as the original virus. In case of Covid-19, infection starts with binding of the virus to a human cell. This binding is enabled through the huge viral Spike protein which protrudes from the viral membrane into the outer space. Spike protein binds human protein, angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the protein which serves as an entry point for the coronavirus to enter and infect humans [1]. Therefore, mutations of the Spike protein are the source of the highest threat to human health. At the moment, scientists around the world are focusing on the investigation of mutations happening in Covid-19 as well as on analyzation of ACE2 protein mutations which can be found in human population [1].
Our team member Marija Sorokina with her co-workers and co-operators at the University of Halle started research on this topic in the March 2020. In their work they build models of variants of ACE2 bound to Spike protein refined with short molecular dynamics’ simulations. The resulting models from all refinement-runs and their energetics are available in online structure viewer at:
This research led already to two publications focused on mutations of ACE2 which can be found in human population [2] as well as in various animals [3]. This work will accelerate the design of therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 as well as contribute to prevention of possible future coronaviruses outbreaks.
[1] https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/the-effects-of-virus-variants-on-covid-19-vaccines?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1KLNz6Wh8AIVDc53Ch0LcAqSEAAYASAAEgJpsfD_BwE
[2] M. Sorokina et al. (2020). Sci Data 7, 309.
[3] JPGLM Rodrigues et al. (2020). PLoS Comput Biol 16, 12.

Composer Linda Leimane in a close and continuous collaboration with the classical experimental contemporary singer, performer and extended vocal techniques’ explorer and researcher Helena Sorokina (alto) is going to explore the voice down to its “molecules” (or bits) thus obtaining a vast field of resources for further mutational processes in a new and hybrid audiovisual work, where four different media – acoustic voice, electronics, science and video art – closely converge. Pure voice with the powerful breath, that can be seen as a pure luxury in these times, when so many people are fighting for their lives and struggling with breathing, will be subject to extension from the acoustic into the digital realm via the use of the electronic processing techniques based on segmentation, fragmentation and reconstruction of sounds such as scrubbing, blocks technique, slicing and granular synthesis. Different spatialization configurations will play an important role in diffusion of the voice, and the core of the electronics will be nothing but a voice in its purest form, traversing the timeline through various algorithms of mutations, gradually multiplicating in a total polyphony. By stretching, molding and transforming the continuum of sonic events, we will modulate to a new perception based in motion within timbre. The singer will be equipped with sensors connected to her body providing the digital data for mutations.

The video artist Viktors Keino will provide bold visual experience, creating space for the mutational processes to unfold in time, both streaming the digital data of the singer's body real-time and using the scientific data as the starting point for visual forms, colors and textures.

Pictures of Experiments

Be the first to comment

Latest photos

About Helena Sorokina


Vienna-based Latvian mezzo-soprano Helēna Sorokina begun her musical education with the violin and piano already at the age of 5. She later went on to study choral conducting in her hometown Riga. Helena was studying classical vocal performance and vocal pedagogy at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria, and since 2021 continues to study there as a doctoral candidate in Artistic Research.
Notable highlights include solo appearances in some of the biggest concert halls of Germany, Austria, Italy and Latvia (e.g., “Die Glocke” Bremen, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Muffathalle Munich, Stefaniensaal Graz) performing works like Messiah by Handel, Christmas oratorio by J.S. Bach, Petite messe solenelle by Rossini and Stabat Mater by Haydn. As a soloist, Helena has worked with Hamburger Symphoniker, Thüringen Philharmonie, Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester, Georgisches Kammerorchester Ingolstadt and sung under the baton of Sir Roger Norrington, Joshua Rifkin, Beat Furrer, Paolo Paroni, Joshard Daus, Erwin Ortner, Johannes Prinz etc. Helena has sung in operatic productions under Stadttheater Leoben, Theater im Palais Graz, MUMUTH Graz and Oper in der Krypta in Vienna. Her roles include Paulina (Pique Dame), Orlofsky (Fledermaus), Mercedes (Carmen), Anita (West
Side Story), Suzuki (Madame Butterfly), Lola (Cavalleria Rusticana) amongst others.
As a Lied and Chanson singer, Helena had solo recitals in festivals such as Riga Early Music and Dance Festival 2015 (Riga, Latvia), Himmelrausch 2016 (Linz, Austria) and 2nd Operetta Festival 2017 (Ikskile, Latvia). She also specializes in German and French chansons, especially that of Zarah Leander, Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich, which she performs with pianist Karlheinz Donauer as well as various jazz musicians and bands.
Her gift of perfect pitch exposes her to contemporary music performance, which has become one of her biggest passions. Notable highlights include solo performances at the Steirischer Herbst Festival in Graz, Austria: Asteroid 62, opera by Kourliandski (2013) and Paradise by Hiendl (2016). Since August 2017, Helena is a resident member of Cantando Admont and has performed in different festivals and venues namely, Klangspuren Schwaz 2017 (composer in residence – Sofia Gubaidulina), Salzburger Festspiele 2018 (Zeit mit Furrer) and 2020, Imago Ljubljana 2018, Azorean Festival of Music 2019, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin 2019 and in countries such as Argentina, Austria, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia and Switzerland.
Since 2018 Helena has given masterclasses and lectures in different topics of the New Vocal Music (New Vocal Music in Austria, Extended Vocal Techniques, Singers Challenges, Art of Collaboration etc.) in the NUS Yale College (Singapore), NYU (NY, USA), UC Berkeley and UC Davis (California, USA).
2020 she started a new project for an unaccompanied solo voice called VOICE.ONLY, which she first premiered at CNMAT in Berkeley, California. She continues the project as a concert series in Styria, Austria, where one of the parts called "Shades of Solitude" has been dedicated to the exploration of an unaccompanied solo voice.
2022 you can hear Helena at Munich Biennale, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Onassis Center Athens, Concertgebow Amsterdam etc.