In a world dominated by visual stimuli, auditory perception can be an oasis of calm. The Sound Park – in the Kepler Garden at Johannes Kepler University Linz – offers the opportunity to relax and engage in an active listening process. Visitors are invited to close their eyes and let a sonic awareness of a space unknown to them emerge. The venue offers the opportunity to leave the physical festival site and relax in imagination through listening.
Each day is heralded by the ambience of different soundscapes. Visitors are immersed in the auspicious sounds of rainforests, glaciers, and deserts, the crash of waves on steep cliffs, or the wind sweeping through endless tundras, before opening their eyes again and perceiving their surroundings as if with new ears. Throughout the day, the focus will be on creating spaces and finding new ways of learning through listening.
On Saturday, the Sound Park will be devoted to a selection of sound works by the winners of the Prix Ars Electronica Digital Musics. Visitors can immerse themselves in topoi created by a variety of field-recording artists and spatialized by a six-channel sound system.
kairos & the dwellers
Manja Ristić (RS)
Stranded on the island of Korčula (Croatia) since the beginning of the current global health circumstances, Manja Ristić roamed on the isle’s shores in quest of new sonic encounters. She approached the Adriatic wilderness by deploying her tools and processes for attentive listening in pursuit of sparking sensory dialogues with the surrounding biomes. Pine forests, shallow waters, coastal lands, abandoned quarries, and their sets of inhabitants were auscultated through various sonic recording techniques involving hydrophones, contact microphones, and stereo set-ups. By combining unprocessed and processed field recordings into electroacoustic narratives, Manja Ristić investigates the historical and ecological richness and fragility of the Korčula island and its encircling sea with the practice of attentive listening as a way of funneling our thoughts towards the comprehension of a landscape’s memory and present state.
RADIO CYBORG TRANSMITTER (Live)
Reni Hofmüller, Ilse Weber / esc medien kunst labor (AT)
Based on the sound worlds of the Radio Cyborg Transmitter, a new piece is created through the sound-generating apparatuses (sensors), in the course of which our perception is challenged and sensitised at the same time. The Radio Cyborg Transmitter uses Geiger counters and other sensors to record emission values such as temperature, humidity, radiation (UV radiation, electromagnetic waves) and fine dust. The live measured data is converted into sound, a constantly changing soundscape is created – the performance space becomes audible.
Þóranna Björnsdóttir (IS), Federico Placidi (IT)
LUCID is as an artistic collaboration between Þóranna Björnsdóttir and Federico Placidi. They collected earthy sound material in Iceland; characterized by natural steam vents, tumbling lava rocks and boiling hissing clay. In Rome, they extracted and sculpted from this material and developed the piece musically; using hybrid analogue/digital tools that integrate into a single creative goal different fields of music production.
Human beings live in a collective shared hallucination. What we see, smell, taste, experience on a sensorial level is a representation of reality made by our brain interpreting external electrical stimuli. This is a necessary condition in order to allow human beings to exist and act in the physical realm. Lucid is a word which describes a state of consciousness beyond all this, an epiphany where, at once, the substance of reality it is finally revealed; the power and energy of nature in its raw untamed force and the spiritual energy field that bind everything, soul and matter, together. Lucid is then just a plain word and what matters the most is the connection we establish with its real meaning which cannot be further verbalized. Lucid means Real.
Tehran Soundscapes – Industrial Soundscape
Reza Atashran (IR)
This one-hour piece is the outcome of field recording of different locations in Karaj with relatively long-time intervals. These recordings, however, are made with one purpose: representing the sonic experience of a simple industrial worker who is an art enthusiast. It is enough to attentively listen to the quiet of a sleeping room, or a park, or when talking to friends in a coffee shop, or even low levels of noise in rest hours compared to the level of noise in working hours within the industrial environment. The last minutes embody few minutes of a musique concrète made of mash-up of all these daily experienced sounds: All the going ups and going downs, compositions of noises and musical sounds, all that remains for me at the end of the day, because as much as musical pieces and natural sounds mark their effect on us, industrial noises do too. These recordings of Tehran’s soundscapes are made by a Tehran-based collective who attempts at raising awareness toward the culture of mindful listening, toward the art of listening. The collective started in 2018 by a group of students of Audio Technology at Islamic Azad University Central Tehran Bran.
Jacek Smolicki (PL)
Intertidal Room is a soundwalk composition originally developed for Vancouver coastline near Stanley Park, an unceded territory of Coast Salish peoples – Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lõ and Səlīlwəta?/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəýəm (Musqueam) Nations. Attending to the fugitive nature of intertidal zones, this soundwalk intends to provide room for an increased aural attention to the ways people have been cultivating, affecting but also disrupting various, also imperceptible layers of these complex environments. The soundwalk composition is intended to be listened to during a period of slack water, a moment when tide is at the lowest point and soon about to return. Respecting luni-solar forces and the way they manifest themselves around Stanley Park, the streaming of the soundwalk has been synchronized with the times of Vancouver’s low tides.
With a few exceptions, all sounds featured in the piece derive from listening and field recording sessions conducted in various intertidal zones that surround Vancouver and Stanley Park in particular. They took place between March and September 2020. Besides field recordings, the piece comprises eco-responsive soundscape compositions, and two spoken narratives: one grounded in empirical, archival, and historical research and the other stemming from dreams, myths and speculative thoughts on and propositions for the further questioning of the so-called nature/culture divide.
Southeast Asia PhoNographic Mornings
Each Morning of the World curated by Stéphane Marin (FR)
Stéphane Marin presents a weekly series of twenty soundscapes recorded in the mornings at various locations throughout Southeast Asia. Entitled “Southeast Asia PhoNographic Mornings” this series forms part of a wider project, “Each Morning of the World”, which invites sound artists, composers and recordists globally to share their own specific point of listening, either through a raw field recording or original composition.
This project tends to focus on the vivacity and the creativity of the soundscape scene in the world. For that Stéphane Marin asks to a representative sample of sound creators, composers, recordists who use fieldrecording as a part of their creative process to share with the audience a creation or a raw recording of their own morning in a precise location of the world.
Martina Testen (SI), Simon Šerc (SI)
This land between the worlds is that inexplicable place we all recognize once we experience it, but its nuances slip away and shape-change if one tries to pin them down, except when we use poetry, music, dance, or story. There is speculation that the immune system of the body is rooted in this mysterious psychic land, and also the mystical, as well as all archetypal images and urges including our God-hunger, our yearning for the mysteries, and all the sacred instincts as well as those which are mundane. Some would say the records of humankind, the root of light, the coil of dark are also here. It is not a void, but rather the place of the Mist Beings where things are and also are not yet, where shadows have substance and substance is sheer. One thing about this land is certain, it is old, older than the oceans. It has no age; it is ageless. Archetype exists everywhere and yet is not see-able in the usual sense. What can be seen of it in the dark cannot necessarily be seen in daylight.
So, to further our kinship relationship with the instinctual nature, it assists greatly if we understand stories as though we are inside them, rather than as though they are outside of us. We enter into a story through the door of inner hearing. The spoken story touches the auditory nerve, which runs across the floor of the skull into the brainstem just below the pons. There, auditory impulses are relayed upward to consciousness or else, it is said, to the soul … depending on the attitude with which one listens. Ancient dissectionists spoke of the auditory nerve being divided into three or more pathways deep in the brain. They surmised that the ear was meant, therefore, to hear at three different levels. One pathway was said to hear the mundane conversations of the world. A second pathway apprehended learning and art. And the third pathway existed so the soul itself might hear guidance and gain knowledge while here on earth. Listen then with soul-hearing now, for that is the mission of story.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés
The cover image is not accidental. Although one of the bird symphonies was recorded in it, it does not mean that it is worth making the cover. I chose it because it looks perfect, and at the same time it is not. By means of symbols such are trunks of trees, which are straight, it composes a record that describes us too. Some DNA and archetype.
released March 12, 2020
The recording is part of the thesis by Martina Testen:
Analysis of the influence of the sound environment on customer behavior – EF Ljubljana, 2016 COBISS-ID-24042726
The Wandering Mind Live
Gershon Dublon (US) and Xin Liu (CN), with guest artist Xiao Xiao (US)
The Wandering Mind is an AI-powered performance platform for shaping dreams with the sounds of our world. Sampling tiny fragments of sound from tens of thousands of global field recordings found online, the system generates a winding sound journey for sleeping and meditating audiences.In our curated performances, group naps and guided mind-wanderings, dream guides convene a collective action of sleeping together. Drawing largely from found sound of parks and public spaces across the world, we respond to the past years, in which stay-at-home orders have torn old social fabrics and mass uprisings have constituted new ones, and through which digital and physical public space has played a pivotal and transformative role. In this special presentation, entitled “Field Sketches from Imaginary Travels,” Wandering Mind guest performer Xiao Xiao combines the live micro-sampled soundscapes with improvisational theremin, keyboard, and vocals. Like an artist on a nature stroll who copies interesting visual forms as gestures in a sketchbook, Xiao weaves impromptu compositions of sonic gestures by transcribing and elaborating seeds from the ambient auditory surroundings.
Tehran Soundscapes – When the Earth Has Some Time to Recover
Dariush Sardari (IR)
When the Earth Has Some Time to Recover is a sonic exploration recorded in the short time of quarantine. This 30-minute journey reveals the sounds of Tehran when quiet fell across much of the city; disturbing voices faded away and replaced by nature’s magical voice.
Tehran Soundscapes – Alborz High School
Sepand Jamshidy (IR)
Alborz High School is a college-preparatory high school located in the heart of Tehran. It is one of the first modern high schools in Asia and the Middle East, named after the Alborz mountain range, north of Tehran. Its place in the shaping of Iran’s intellectual elite com- pares with that of Eton College in England and institutions such as Philips Academy, Phillips Exeter Academy, and Milton Academy in the United States. The school was found- ed as an elementary school in 1873 by a group of American Presbyterian missionaries led by James Bassett. These recordings of Tehran’s soundscapes are made by a Tehran-based collective who attempts at raising awareness toward the culture of mindful listening, toward the art of listening. The collective focuses on the sonic environment of Tehran and its practice involves field recordings, making archives, researching archives, running workshops, and organizing sound walks. The collective started in 2018 by a group of students of Audio Technology at Islamic Azad University Central Tehran Branch.
Adrián Artacho (AT), Company of Music (AT), Johannes Hiemetsberger (AT), Hanne Pilgrim (AT), MiMu Gloves (UK)
South American PhoNographic Mornings
Each Morning of the World curated by Stéphane Marin (FR)
Stéphane Marin presents a weekly series of 20 short soundscapes recorded in the mornings at various locations throughout South America. Entitled “South American PhoNographic Mornings” this series forms part of a wider project, Each Morning of the World, which invites sound artists, composers and recordists globally to share their own specific point of listening, either through a raw field recording or original composition. Weekly on Sunday morning.
hānau ka ua
Leilehua Lanzilotti (US-HI)
hānau ka ua is Hawaiian for “born is the rain.” The title of the work is taken from a collection of Hawaiian rain names published by Kamehameha Publishing. In ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, we have hundreds of words for rain—the time of day, color, intensity, and sound of a rain gave it a distinct quality that inspired this vocabulary. The existence of such a depth of language for natural forces such as wind and rain reflect the importance and understanding of nature in Native Hawaiian culture. Through radical indigenous modernity—taking the instruments, sounds, and language of my Kanaka Maoli heritage as a starting point—the work explores Hawaiian language and perception. Live version commissioned by and written for the [Switch~ Ensemble] supported in part by a project grant from the MAP Fund. Quadraphonic version created for Sound Park @ Ars Electronica Festival 2021. Thanks to Nina C. Young for developing the electronics for both the live and installation versions of this work.
Alex Braidwood (US)
Listening. Slowing down. Focusing. Realigning. As the ways we engage with nature change in and around the built environment, so too must the ways we capture, represent, preserve, and share these restorative places. Serotinous Repose is constructed using field recordings of prairies, lakes, rivers, and fire from land management-controlled burns. The interrelationship of these processes are crucial to the land and the wildlife, yet they are too often stunted, degraded, or eliminated through human intervention. Serotinous Repose provides a listening space to slow down and appreciate these entangled systems while celebrating the wild places they nourish.
Anne Guthrie (US)
“Gyropedie,” Anne Guthrie’s third record for Students of Decay, takes us further into their hermetic practice, wherein expertly captured field recordings, French horn, and electronics are woven into potent and richly imagined electroacoustic environments. In Guthrie’s own words, “Quite literally a record of pilgrimage from East to West. Remnants of Midwest and East Coast soundmarks, instruments sold to lighten the travel load, sketched out and then buried under the new. Winter birds and crunching snow, frozen playgrounds, broken synths – I spent a year decoupaging over this, but of course it’s still there. A second moon appears occasionally in the daytime, and there are frequent, murky transmissions. California has something alien about it I’m still trying to grasp. Primarily vintage, unabashed, corny, I find myself becoming an impressionist.”
Tehran Soundscapes – The Grand Bazaar of Tehran
Houman Hoorsan (IR)
The Grand Bazaar is an old historical bazaar in Tehran. It is split into several corridors over 10 km in length. Each specializing in different types of goods, and has several entrances, with Sabze Meydan being the main entrance. These recordings of Tehran’s soundscapes are made by a Tehran-based collective who attempts at raising awareness toward the culture of mindful listening, toward the art of listening. The collective focuses on the sonic environment of Tehran and its practice involves field recordings, making archives, researching archives, running workshops, and organizing sound walks. The collective started in 2018 by a group of students of Audio Technology at Islamic Azad University Central Tehran Branch.
Vis. [un]necessary force_4
Luz María Sánchez (MX)
Vis.[un]necessary force_4 (V.[u]nf_4) is a generative, participatory multimedia installation which translates the affective sonic territory of the Mexican desert and the aural fabric of Rastreadoras de El Fuerte – digging in search of clandestine graves where they might find their family members, victims of enforced disappearance – into an immersive sonic environment. V.[u]nf_4 is part of a larger art-research project that addresses violence exerted against civilians by drug cartels, police and military forces. In Mexico, crimes against humanity are committed every day. The country has become a large mass grave. As of April 2021, official numbers state that more than 4,000 clandestine graves were found, and more than 250,000 people died and 83,000 gone missing since the war on drugs was launched in 2006. This is a six-channel version made specifically for the Sound Park, Linz.
Tosca Terán (CA)
Forest UnderSound is an invitation to consider the sentience of fungi. Sentience is the ability to perceive one’s environment, and experience sensations such as pain and suffering, or pleasure and comfort. In 1997, the European Union agreed to recognize animals as sentient beings under European law. Animals and fungi share a common ancestor and branched away from plants at some point approximately 1.1 billion years ago. For Forest UnderSound, mycelium from Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi/Lingzhi) and Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushrooms), along with mycorrhizal fungi growing and connecting within the roots of various plants has been cultivated. Both the plant roots and mycelium have electrodes connected to them that send biodata into purpose-built circuits, which detect micro-fluctuations in conductivity between 1,000-100,000 of a second. This biodata is then translated in real-time to control analog and digital synthesizers. For the first iteration of Forest UnderSound fungi and plants will be allowed to grow over approximately 7 months, creating a real-time fungi forest soundscape. The soundscape will change over the seasons as the fungi and plants grow.
Soundscapes of summer
Izabela Dłużyk (PL)
On “Soundscapes of summer” Izabela is presenting natural soundscapes recorded in and near Polish forests during June and July. It’s a meeting of white storks from Zywkovo and black cormorants from Katy Rybackie, of forest showers and sea waves crashing against the shore, breakfast demands in the morning and serenades in the evening.
All those sounds are an expression of the natural lifecycle, a glimpse on flurry of it in its summery peak.
The Soft Bit
Jana Irmert (DE)
With her fourth album “The Soft Bit”, sound artist and composer Jana Irmert explores the materiality of sounds. Using manipulated field recordings, voice samples and synthesizer sounds, she carves out electronic soundscapes as if she were using sonar in deep darkness. Jana Irmert’s artistic output takes on various forms – from live performance and multichannel composition to collaborations with filmmakers, dancers and visual artists. In 2019 she received the German Documentary Film Music Award, in 2021 she has been nominated for an Edda Award for her sound design on Jóhann Jóhannsson’s film “Last and First Men”
Each Morning of the World – Oceanian PhoNographic Mornings
Each Morning of the World curated by Stéphane Marin (FR)
Stéphane Marin presents a weekly series of twenty soundscapes recorded in the mornings at various locations throughout Oceania. Entitled “Oceanian PhoNographic Mornings” this series forms part of a wider project, “Each Morning of the World”, which invites sound artists, composers and recordists globally to share their own specific point of listening, either through a raw field recording or original composition.
This project tends to focus on the vivacity and the creativity of the soundscape scene in the world. In this goal Stéphane Marin asks to a representative sample of sound creators, composers, recordists who use fieldrecording as a part of their creative process to share with the audience a creation based on recordings or a raw recording of their own morning in a precise location of the world. The project also tend to cover the most larger (or representative) part of the continents area in 15 to 20 contributions per season. The rule is simple : a “soundscape” (from 3 to 12 minutes) is released each Sunday morning.
El Tren Fantasma
Chris Watson (GB)
“Take the ghost train from Los Mochis to Veracruz and travel cross country, coast to coast, Pacific to Atlantic. Ride the rhythm of the rails on board the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México (FNM) and the music of a journey that has now passed into history.”
El Tren Fantasma, (The Ghost Train), is Chris Watson’s 4th solo album for Touch, and his first since Weather Report in 2003, which was named as one of the albums you should hear before you die in The Guardian. A Radio programme was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Saturday 30 Oct, 2010, produced by Sarah Blunt, and described as “a thrilling acoustic journey across the heart of Mexico from Pacific to Atlantic coast using archive recordings to recreate a rail passenger service which no longer exists. It’s now more than a decade since FNM operated its last continuous passenger service across country. Chris Watson spent a month on board the train with some of the last passengers to travel this route. As sound recordist he was part of the film crew working on a programme in the BBC TV series Great Railways Journeys. Now, in this album, the journey of the ‘ghost train’ is recreated, evoking memories of a recent past, capturing the atmosphere, rhythms and sounds of human life, wildlife and the journey itself along the tracks of one of Mexico’s greatest engineering projects.
Tehran Soundscapes – The Religious Sound of Tehran
Navid Asadi (IR)
Muharram is a month of remembrance. Ashura, which literally means the “Tenth” in Arabic, refers to the tenth day of Muharram. It is well-known because of historical significance and mourning for the martyrdom of Ḥusayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad. Muslims begin mourning from the first night of Muharram and continue for ten nights, climaxing on the 10th of Muharram, known as the Day of Ashura. These recordings of Tehran’s soundscapes are made by a Tehran-based collective who attempts at raising awareness toward the culture of mindful listening, toward the art of listening. The collective focuses on the sonic environment of Tehran and its practice involves field recordings, making archives, researching archives, running workshops, and organizing sound walks. The collective started in 2018 by a group of students of Audio Technology at Islamic Azad University Central Tehran Branch.
Hildegard Westerkamp (CA)
From harangue I, released January 15, 1998. harangue I showcases work that shares a concern for rich, carefully crafted sound and a gutsy, intense sensibility.
Jana Winderen (NO)
Armed with four 8011 DPA hydrophones, DPA 4060 omni mics, a Telinga parabolic reflector mic and and a Sound Devices 744T digital hard disk recorder, Jana Winderen studies and records wild places which have a particular importance in our understanding of the complexity and fragility of marine ecosystems.
The recordings were made on field trips to the Barents Sea (north of Norway and Russia), Greenland and Norway, deep in crevasses of glaciers, in fjords and in the open ocean. These elements are then edited and layered into a powerful descriptive soundscape. The open spaces of Greenland, northern winds, ravens and dogs in an icy landscape provide the setting for these haunting but dynamic pieces. Sounds of crustaceans, fish such as cod, haddock, herring and pollock recorded as they are hunting, calling for a mate or orientating themselves in their environment, are all included in the mix. The result is a powerful, mesmeric journey into the unseen audio world of the frozen north.
Tehran Soundscapes – Gates of Tehran, Intermezzos
Vedad Famourzadeh (IR)
This one-hour radio program is a compilation of some of the soundscapes of Tehran first exhibited as part of Days of Experimental Sounds in December 2018 at Silent Green Kultur- quartier Berlin organized by House No.4. The project was a collection of field recordings of locations in Tehran’s old gates which are abolished and do not exist anymore. The project was about the non-places, about what lacks rather than the presence of any sound-marks, or any sonic memory of Tehran. One can hardly identify these places compared to any other places in Tehran. These sound- scapes are from Pamenar, Bazaar gate, Bank Melli Bazaar, Baab Homayoun, Imam Khomeini Square, Hor Square, Pastor Square, Raazi Square, Qazvin square. These soundscapes are intersected by Intermezzos in Memory of Zaven Hakopian, com- positions for violin and alto commissioned by Ag Galerie, first performed by Babak Kouhestani and Farmehr Beyglou as part of exhibition Club 29 Curated by Elham Puriyamehr in June 2018.
A Futurist’s Cookbook
Philip Samartzis (AU) & Daniela d’Arielli (IT)
This project emerges from a one-week residency I undertook at Pollinaria, a sprawling farm located at the base of Gran Sasso National Park in Abruzzo. The residency coincided with the summer harvest providing an opportunity for a variety of sound recordings of agricultural infrastructure, including complex machinery used to transform unrefined crops into processed foods. Most of the fieldwork was undertaken in the company of Daniela d’Arielli who navigated the winding and undulating topography while I searched for sounds residing in the dry pastoral landscape. During our field trips Daniela would photograph the places, objects and people we encountered. Often embedded in the landscape, hidden from view, shooting from a distance with a macro lens. The images accompanying the composition are designed to reveal the richly textured environments in which we worked.
Jarii van Gohl (DE); create your world Jugendbegegnungsprojekt 2015
New recording techniques blend tonal experiments and a sound collage composed of 2015 Ars Electronica Festival projects into an extraordinary sound performance. Participants in sound:city:lab, 2015’s international youth exchange event, scrutinized how music evokes visual imagery and recollections in our minds, and how sounds, noise and music can positively or negatively influence our life. As part of the Youth Exchange project, a sound and noise workshop, young people from 4 different countries, scrutinized and rethought the relationship between noise, sound and music.The output was a sound performance, among other things, created by urban instruments and Festival sounds (samples, looped) to bring noise and music in a direct relationship.