Soundwalk & Interactive Composition.
March 2021. Online residency with RIVERSSSOUNDS. The river Weiße Elster crosses Leipzig. The works revolve around the relationship between humans and the river. The exploration shows how important the river is – for the artist, many other people and for the specific character of the place. It brings a flow to the the city, offers relaxation, reflection, meeting places, contact with animals and nature, a sense of magic – whether that is white or black magic. Where there is the river, there is a great variety of sounds. The river’s burbling can drown annoying city noises and offer calmness. The river’s powerful noise at the weir, in contrast, drowns everything else. The river is a symbol of life. It can be soft, it can be forceful, and anything in-between. Bridges help to cross.
The artist talk introduces the artist’s working methods and offers a taste of the acoustic river explorations. The binaural soundwalk leads away from the noisy city streets into the green and plays with the human rapprochement with the river. The main work, the interactive composition, explores the relationship between humans and the river at six bridges. It takes the human approach to the river to the extreme with a riverization, combining voice with sound.
In the interactive piece, listeners can change what they hear by hovering the mouse across the screen and scrolling up and down. With the mouse movement, they navigate between three different compositions. The first field recording composition is loudest in the upper left corner and quietest in the lower right corner of the screen. It combines characteristic acoustic features along the flow of the river and traces its musical and narrative qualities. The second field recording composition is controlled by scrolling. As listeners scroll up, the number in the center at the bottom of the screen increases, the lines symbolizing the flowing river in the center of the screen thicken, and listeners are submerged under water. If the number 10 is displayed, only the underwater composition can be heard, if the number 0 is displayed, only the first field recording composition can be heard. The third composition consists of voice, words and sounds. The material was recorded during a slow walk along the river from the first to the sixth bridge using the voice improvisation technique Automatic Speaking. On the virtual platform, the voice composition is loudest on the bottom line of the screen and audible up to the center line where the symbolized river flows.
Zhan Pobe, Anna Khvyl, Anamaria Pravicencu
DZESTRA (Czernowitz, UA), mit SEMI SILENT / Asociaţia Jumătatea plină (Bukarest, RO)
European Union, House of Europe Program
1. The Train Bridge
2. The Yellow Bridge
3. The Car Bridge
4. The Nutria Bridge
5. The Saxonian Bridge
6. The Weir
RIVERSSSOUNDS is a platform for virtual sonic experiences and an online residency program that invites you to navigate the rivers of Europe via the microphones of sound artists. By using digital tools and artistic imagination, it is a virtual portal for connecting the physical realities of different cities through sound.
A river is a constant flow. It crosses borders yet remains a steady contour on a map, even as borders change. A river is a part of the fabric of cities, generating specific industries, recreational activities, and cultural identities. Nevertheless, a river itself is not belonging. Rather, it runs across the land, constantly reminding us of how much we share in spite of borders.
RIVERSSSOUNDS unites sound artists working with soundscapes and field recording. Each month the platform hosts up to three online residents from different European countries that are based in cities with a river. For the first edition, the platform will host 16 residents from December 2020 until June 2021.