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Past events
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A special experience awaits visitors to the “Sounds of the World” exhibition: Behind the light textile covering of the ellipse-shaped so-called listening space in the center of the exhibition area is a sohisticated loudspeaker arrangement. This can generate a three-dimensional listening experience. The “Audio Communication Group” of the TU Berlin has developed a complex computer system for this purpose, which controls the installed loudspeakers in real time in such a way that various acoustic spatial effects become possible: represantations of real acoustic spaces, creation of virtual sound worlds, static and moving sounds.
During the museum’s opening hours, we present acoustic artworks every 20 minutes. Some of them have a documentary character, other installations are sound art works in the narrower sense. The program is constantly being expanded, and for this reason alone it is worthwhile to visit the listening space regularly. Listening has earned – and found – a place in the museum.

 

CURRENT LISTENING PROGRAM

The Well of the Sun

09:00, 11:40, 14:20, 17:00 and 19:40

Christof Vonderau
In Kiribati, string figures accompanied the story of the creation of the world, the departure for the sea, the poems of lovers, the contemplation of the sunset, the ceremonial path to the afterlife, tales of the realm of the sea, the stars, the playful view of nature. Performed on the beach, they also accompanied the arrival of the first Europeans.
Can string figures still grasp the cohesion of the world today? Is there more closeness or more distance between the islands of Kiribati and the industrial metropolises due to the diversity of encounter and climate change.
I dealt with this question in the composition The Well of the Sun and set texts from the archives of Gerd Koch (1963/64), from Sir Arthur Grimble (1951), Captain Charles Wilkes (1845) and from the U.S. Atoll Report (1960) to music for tenor, baritone and concert guitar.

 

»sufisonics« – Sounds of mystic Islam in Hamburg

09:20, 12:00, 14:40 and 17:20 and Fri, Sat also at 20:00

Ulrich Wegner & Marcus Thomas
»sufisonics« addresses religious experiences and behaviors of Muslim men and women in Germany. A Sufi congregation in Hamburg, the Tariqa Burhaniya, is introduced in its acoustical dimensions. Contrary to orthodox Islam, Sufism, Islamic Mysticism, emphasizes a person’s individual path to a unity with God.
In February 2015, it was possible to make a comprehensive documentation of a hadra, a ritual performed by the congregation on each Thursday night. The musical material recorded built the basis for the work on the sound installation.
It is noteworthy that in »sufisonics« the Burhanis and Burhaniyas don’t appear merely as musical and ritual actors; rather, they speak up and report about the hadra and their spiritual experiences. Sections in Arabic and German reflect the bilingual realm of a Muslim congregation in a German urban environment.
»sufisonics« combines a documentary with a sound art approach.

 

Data Aquisition (A Song of Sadness)

09:40, 12:20, 15:00, 17:40 and Fri, Sat also at 20:20

Moritz Fehr
In the years between 1915 and 1918, employees of the so-called Royal Prussian Phonographic Commission recorded the voices of prisoners at the Königsbrück POW camp near Dresden on wax cylinders and shellac records.
On November 22, 1916, Grigori Kim (Kim Hong-Jun), who was held here as a soldier of the Russian army, sang, along with others, the Korean folk song Susimga. The recording of the song has been preserved to this day and is part of the collection of the Lautarchiv Berlin.
Data Acquisition (A Song of Sadness) engages with this recording of Susimga and its significance for the present. Due to the forced situation concerning the recording as well as the still unresolved questions regarding the copyright and personal rights of the singer Grigori Kim, the historical recording is not reproduced here.

 

I Will Not Weep

10:00, 12:40, 15:20, 18:00 and Fri, Sat also at 20:40

Senti Toy Threadgill
“No one can take the song within me
No one can take the song within
I Will Not Weep”

The water terrace rice fields of Nagaland, the heartland where elemental sounds of water, wet earth, sweat, breath, and the human voice find song. “I Will Not Weep” is a song of resilience. It is the simultaneous plurality of Naga sounds with its complex colonized past, and the ever present disruptive violence of the Indian army. There has been deep mourning and loss over time for the Nagas, but we sing.

 

Oksus

10:20, 13:00, 15:40, 18:20 and Fri, Sat also at 21:00

Marc Sinan
The once raging river has almost dried up today. For thousands of years, the river, which is called Amu Darya in Persian and Oxus in Greek, has produced cultural treasures that radiate from China to Western Europe. Today, it has become a symbol of man’s overexploitation of nature. But it is not only Central Asia’s nature that is threatened; traditional culture is also disappearing at breakneck speed and being displaced by globalisation and devastation.
Marc Sinan has undertaken an extensive journey through Uzbekistan and, together with Markus Rindt, filmed musicians who keep alive centuries-old musical traditions that have always been cosmopolitan. He presents the results of his research in the form of a chamber music suite, a road movie, for guitar, clarinet, harpsichord and percussion.

 

Liquid Continent

10:40, 13:20, 16:00, 18:40 and Fri, Sat also at 21:20

Merzouga (Eva Pöpplein & Janko Hanushevsky)
Since ancient times, the Mediterranean has linked the cultures of the Middle East, North Africa, Southern Europe and Turkey. Mare nostrum, Our Sea is the liquid foundation of our cultures. Today it threatens to become a border to seal Europe off from its neighbours.
Liquid Continent opens an acoustic window into the collections of the sound archive of the Ethnologisches Museum Berlin and the diversity of musical traditions along the Mediterranean. We juxtapose the singing, drums, lutes and flutes that have resounded from the shores across Our Sea for millennia with an electro-acoustic sound composition of ocean noise. This longest, continuous natural sound that we know is older than the writing of history. Music, like the sea, has experienced the rise and fall of empires and political systems. It is the anthropogenic equivalent of the liquid continent that connects us across linguistic and cultural boundaries.

 

The Passage

11:00, 13:40, 16:20, 19:00 and Fri, Sat also at 21:40

Mehmet Can Özer
This piece is focusing on the oldest archival recordings of the Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv nowadays hosted in Humboldt-Forum. Such historical recordings offer different layers in meaning, first of all its content. Soundscape of that era can be only heard by the means of wax cylinders. Personally, I find it so emotional – the mortality of mankind and immortality of documentation are struggling. The Passage is shading light on memento mori, which was the inspiration from the beginning, also annotates the architectural function of the listening space.
Sound reproduction from the very first example till the current situation is the passage in this composition. The recording technologies have made the electroacoustic music possible, so it was a natural continuum to me in terms of sonic material. Using the advanced immersive audio embedded in the listening space, The Passage is inviting the audience to change the roles of being past to lasting.

 

Triple Feedback

11:20, 14:00, 16:40 and 19:20

Sounding Situations (Milena Kipfmüller, Klaus Janek, Jens Dietrich)
The piece Triple Feedback draws attention to mutual listening and the power of recording. During colonial expeditions of German anthropologists in Rwanda at the beginning of the 20th century, unequal encounters resulted in sound documents that are stored today in the Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv and were not accessible to the local people for a long time.
In Triple Feedback, the artists’ group Sounding Situations investigates how power structures can be transformed through dialogue and new, original recordings.
Contemporary Rwandan songwriters, singers and music producers listen to the recordings that were previously inaccessible to them and send their analyses, comments, expertise, but also anger and rage back to Germany.
In their composition, the group Sounding Situations has transferred the old original recordings into their present musical language, which enters into an exchange with the visions and samples of contemporary Rwandan musicians.

 

Room 217 – Sounds of the World

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