[microsound-announce] Tuned City: Sonic Surveys of Tallinn

Derek Holzer derek at umatic.nl
Wed May 5 14:58:31 EDT 2010

*Tuned City: Sonic Surveys of Tallinn*


Hear Tallinn with new ears! Buildings and architecture are usually 
described in visual terms. But it is often our sense of hearing which 
assists us in experiencing and navigating through the spaces of urban 
cities. There is no sound without space and no space without a sound. In 
every day life we are surrounded by the sounds of diverse nature and 
various origins. Language, sounds of nature and civilisation – sound as 
a carrier of information or as a factor of disturbance permanently 
encircles our consciousness.

During the month of May 2010, and over the summer of 2011, Tuned City 
Tallinn will undertake an acoustic exploration of Tallinn. The goal will 
be to identify and explore the sonic landmarks of the city which define 
its identity, shape its communication and transform the perceptions of 
its visitors and inhabitants. A fascinating cross-section of 
international artists, performers, scientists and thinkers will be 
brought together to present their ideas about sound and space. In 
addition, the public will be invited to participate directly through a 
series of workshops and sound walks and experience diverse site specific 
installations, performances and demonstrations. Tuned City Tallinn 
builds on ideas developed during the first ever event of its kind, held 
in Berlin during the summer of 2008.

*Events may 2010*

Tuned City Tallinn starts off with two workshop projects in the week 
18.-22. may 2010, a series of artistic/scientific research projects in 
the following week and a first public project presentation on may 29th.

Program details:

week 17-22 may

workshop I
Sonic Surveys of Tallinn
exploring, location hunting, mapping and field recording of urban 
May 18-22, 2010

workshop led by: John Grzinich, Derek Holzer, Patrick McGinley
registration: jg[ät]maaheli.ee

This interdisciplinary workshop (of artists, architects, urban planners, 
social geographers) concentrates on exploring working methods for 
mapping and documenting urban spaces and architectural structures of the 
city of Tallinn. The methods used will combine research and practical 
skills in surveying and recording the “sonic geographies” found 
throughout the city. As Tallinn has radically different zones, both 
architecturally and socially  our research aims to reflect expose and 
reflect the variety of soundscapes to be found there.

This would include the practical elements of an overall “field 
recording” and “listening” workshop with an introduction to sound, 
soundscape and field recording techniques. The structure of the workshop 
divides the overall group of participants into several small scouting 
teams (3 groups of 4 or 5 people) that make excursions to different 
districts of the city. A range of locations could include the Soviet 
‘plattenbau’ districts like Lasnamäe and Õismäe, the park areas of 
Kadriorg and Nõmme and the seaside districts of Pirita and Kopli (or 
whatever else can be introduced) for example.

Mapping the possible overlays of sonic regions or even specific sounds 
will help define potential “sonic landmarks”, as one of the main themes 
for the Tuned City conference to be held in July of 2011. Afterward we 
can pool the coordinates and recordings into a “map” or Survey of 
Acoustic Geography of Tallinn.


Workshop II
Form and Sound
with students of the EKA, the Conservatory and students from 
Kuvataiteakatemia Helsinki and KUNO
May 18-22, 2010

workshop led by: Lukas Kühne

The idea is to carry out a multidisciplinary laboratory building bridges 
amongst the different arts and genders. The proposal of this idea is 
interactive, an adventure that has to do with phenomena of natural laws 
and the ultimate technology. Sound does not exist without material 
support: it requires sources in space in order to have some kind of form 
and it needs ears in order to be heard. Sound depends on the material 
and the form of sound sources. This workshop explores the relationship 
between the form that creates sound and the sounds that create form.

This workshop project is meant to create artistic and scientific 
explorations of the unique acoustic situation of the old waterplane 
hangar and to find ways to preserve lively and illustrative
documentations of an outstanding spatial experience. The hangar will be 
changed  into a maritim museum, this development process causes a 
certain responsibility for the monument. A scientific analysis of the 
given frequencies and wavelength, the characteristics of the 
reverberation and diffusion in the space of the 3 domes and an 
investigation of the direct and related phenomena should provide a 
profound explanation. In close collaboration an artistic reflection 
should interpret, force – translate and visualize this unique sonotop.

(The artistic reflection could be build around the topic of the echo, 
starting with the cultural history, the mythological background – the 
story about the nymph ‘echo’ and ‘narcissus’ as an explanation model of 
the dispartment of the acoustic and the visual world. Going over to a 
natural scientific and musically artistic exploration with the above 
mentioned research project, guided tours through the architecture and 
artistic performances. And ending with a metaphorical and poetic view on 
the topic of reflection. (as reaction on causation, repetition, return 
of history, echos from beyond …)


In the week 24-28 of may the artists Raviv Ganchrow (NL), Thomas 
Ankersmit (D) and Anthony Hall (UK) will explore the old hydroplane hangar.



May 29 2010
seaplane hangar, Lennusadama port, (Küti Street) Tallinn

The first public event introducing the “sonic landmarks tallinn” project 
in 2011 will take place at and around the seaplane hangar as it serves 
as a great example for the deep relation of architecture and sound and 
would illustrate in a nice way the main idea of tuned city – to make the 
acoustic dimension of space and architecture perceptible.

One lasting impression from the Berlin event was of the specific 
acoustic qualities which each of the spaces used for the conference and 
performances possessed – whether it was a room designed from the 
acoustic perspective (such as the anechoic chamber at the Technical 
University or the giant radio concert hall at the Nalepastrasse), an 
improvised situation (such as the disused repair hall of the Wriezener 
Bahnhof) or a temporary public situation (such as on Alexanderplatz). 
These acoustic qualities provided each site which a specific identity 
which defined that location in space, assisted or inhibited 
communication and changed one‘s awareness of their surroundings and 
illustrated in a great way the debated topics very plastically.

In the same way as tuned city explores the different topics in direct 
relation to the actual spaces this pre-event in the hangar will give a 
taste of how the Tallinn event in 2011 will shape. In a mixture of 
theory, artistic presentation and direct experience we will present the 
results of the artistic/scientific research and documentation project as 
well as the results of the workshops to the audience. Some lectures will 
introduce the concepts of aural architecture and acoustic awareness.


start 4pm

Opening and welcome – Mikko Fritze, Director of Tallinn 2011, European 
Cultural Capital

Introduction to the Estonian Maritime Museum project – Ott Sarapuu (EE) 
History of the seaplane hangar, future plans and architectural vision.

Sonic Landmarks – tunedcity in Tallinn 2011 – Tunedcity research group (int)
A preview of  the program for Tallinn 2011 introducing the general idea 
behind tunedcity, the research network, the artist and projects planed 
for the european capital project Sonic Landmarks.

Sonic garden in the urban sphere – Valeria Merlini (I)
Lecture on acoustics aspects of landscape architecture

presentations by artist involved in the planing for 2011:

Raviv Ganchrow (US/IL/NL)
Crescents and Bent on Listening

Thomas Ankersmith (NL/D)
presentation and talk

Antony Hall (UK)

presentation of the workshop results:

Sonic Surveys of Tallinn
Workshop with MoKS (EE) – location hunting, mapping and field recording 
of urban soundscapes
- short performances and soundwalks

Form and Sound
Workshop by Lukas Kühne (D) together with The Estonian academy of arts 
EKA, The Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki and KUNO
- performances, demonstarations, soundwalks


Tuned City is part of the official program of the European Cultural 
Capital Tallinn 2011 and is co-produced with MoKs – center for art and 
social practice and is supported by the Tallinn 2011 Foundation, 
Estonian Cultural Endowment, Hasartmängumaksu Nõukogu, Eesti Vabariigi 
Kultuuriministeerium. In cooperation with The Estonian Academy of Arts, 
Kunshogskoleutdanninger i Norden KUNO and The Estonian Maritime Museeum.

::: derek holzer ::: http://macumbista.net :::
---Oblique Strategy # 69:
"Feed the recording back out of the medium"

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