Being Anton

The immersive sound space Being Anton at the Ars Electronica Center in Linz – developed by the Ars Electronica Futurelab – offers visitors the opportunity to experience the sound world of composer Anton Bruckner in a new way. Based on extensive historical research, visitors are immersed in the soundscape of the Industrial Revolution, which is combined with excerpts from Bruckner’s symphonies – played by the Bruckner Orchestra Linz – as well as choral and organ pieces, framed by historical context and insights into the correspondence of the exceptional musician.

Being Anton is part of the celebrations to mark the 200th birthday of the Upper Austrian composer Anton Bruckner. The Futurelab has also developed Playing Anton, an innovative application for the Deep Space 8K at the Ars Electronica Center, where visitors can form the instrument groups of the Bruckner Orchestra Linz themselves.

The focus is on the question of how Bruckner may have experienced his world – a world in which industry was flourishing, the steam locomotive was traveling at an incredible 60 km/h, the construction of the Suez Canal was fueling the global economy, the light bulb was coming onto the market and urban life was flourishing. What sound space surrounded Bruckner himself? What did he hear in his everyday life? The steam engine, for example, which was used in steam trains and steamships, not only changed people’s mobility options at an unprecedented speed, but also brought a completely new soundscape into the world.

Individual experience of Bruckner’s diverse world of sound

Being Anton allows visitors to immerse themselves in the sounds that surrounded Anton Bruckner and his contemporaries. The combination with examples from Bruckner’s musical oeuvre – such as excerpts from Bruckner’s first, second, seventh and eighth symphonies – creates a diverse world of sound.

Each visitor is in control for the dramaturgy of the installation: Usomo’s spatial tracking system links sounds to points in the room and assembles the soundscapes individually in real-time. Depending on the position and direction of movement in the room, new sounds open up – from clattering horse hooves and rattling steam engines to recited diary entries and musical insights. The soundscapes merge into one another, become louder and quieter, and separate at certain points, but never completely disappear. Being Anton is rounded off with information panels, photographs, and original quotes by and about Anton Bruckner.

Read more about Being Anton and Playing Anton in an interview with Arno Deutschbauer, Ali Nikrang and Norbert Trawöger on the Ars Electronica Blog:


Ars Electronica Futurelab: Arno Deutschbauer, Peter Freudling, Ali Nikrang, Gerfried Stocker
PARTNER: usomo, Norbert Trawöger, Lydia Zachhuber
Sounddesign: Julian Pixel Schmiederer
Soundrecordists: Lukas Schönwiese, Tobias Fischbach, Tobias Türk
Recorded on Location at Textiles Zentrum Haslach (Doris Vierlinger, Judith Weger,
Sepp Eckersdorfer, Liese Grusch) & Stift St. Florian (Dr. Sonnleitner)
Vocals: Claus Blochberger, Michael Feichtenberger, Gerald Hartwig, Rahel Kislinger, Marie Treuer
Mixed at Stress Studio

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Take a look at some of our other projects

From our never-ending list of ideas and concepts we have compiled a selection of works related to the topics addressed in this project. An overview of all our productions, cooperations and projects can be found in our continuously growing project archive.