vertical sounds   I   structures [ bernau ]

radical site-specific sound installation
8 channels
Water Tower Bernau, Germanyeight loudspeakers


Sounds, fragile and faint, trickling down from high above, ricocheting diffused from the circular walls. Retracting towards the ceiling, then dust-like filling the whole space and eventually settling on the cold, raw concrete floor.
As a part of the ongoing artistic research series structures […], this installation engages with and derives from the sonic environment of the Wasserturm in Bernau. It is an artifact of a year-long research process especially focussing on the tower’s inner architecture. The research findings were used to create a fixed composition, resulting in a subtle intervention.
In most sound installations allow recipients to explore the established sound field in its entirety. They move around and can choose from a variety of positions from which they can perceive the installation situation. In vertical sounds the possible perceptive positions are drastically reduced. Recipients were not allowed to ascend the staircase, where the loudspeakers were placed. They were not able to locate the loudspeakers or differentiate the sound signals due to a lack of perspective. Therefore the visitor was confronted with a situation of reduced privilege. She or he could only concentrate on what was (diffusely) audible from their position. This was supported by a lack of visual activity within the space. Only by a calm and attentive manner of listing over a longer period of time the installation situation revealed its rich sonic nuances and full potential. The composition is a sonic environment of gradual (re-)formation, ensuing in perpendicular movement and thus fully accentuating the space’s acoustics and qualities.



Support: Stadtwerke Bernau // Electronic studio - TU Berlin

Pictures: Robert Stokowy