Airport, Sound Installation at the Musikinstrumenten-Museum Berlin, 2006




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Site-specific sound installation for the new entrance of the Music Instruments Museum Berlin, 2006

May 10th, 2006 (opening) - undetermined

Airport – the harbour of air – combines aerial sounds from the interior and the exterior, in correspondence with the location and context of the Music Instruments Museum Berlin: the existing acoustic environment of the new museum entrance with its flows of passing traffic merges with sound recordings of musical instruments from the museum (accordeon, flute, guitar, harp, clarinet, crumhorn, trombone, trumpet, and several percussion instruments). Blown air mutates into „driven“ air, the tides of urban traffic are mirrored in periodically recuring sonic movements. Instrumental sounds are diffused by a grid of twelve loudspeakers, thus chords and tonal mixtures can be also perceived as a spatial phenomenon, interactions of neighbouring frequencies result in microtonal beatings. The underlying electroacoustic composition is subdivided into 32 one-minute long time windows. The change between sections is made audible through various bell sounds.

Twelve loudspeakers are installed in the roof construction of the Museum’s newly built entrance area, facing downwards. They are positioned in a straight line, parallel to the adjacent street, Ben Gurion Strasse. The directionality of traffic flows is reproduced through virtual sound movements, real and prerecorded trafic sounds as well as instrumental sounds move from the left to the right, or from the right to the left. The acoustic space of Airport is defined by short pulses (flageolet tones, key clicks, percussive sounds), At the same time the inevitable and anticipated fusion with the surrounding urban sound reality also permits the experience of a quasi unbounded sound space. Ultimately, every acoustic event can become part of the installation, and thus a musical instrument by itself, as long as the listener is able and willing to perceive it in such a way.

Airport (2006)

12-channel audio system

Commissioned by the Music Instruments Museum Berlin.
Many thanks to: Thomas Ertelt, Martin Supper, and the entire team of the
Music Instruments Museum Berlin.

(Presentations: Tue-Fri, 11.00-20.00, for exact times and individual appointments, please contact the Music Instruments Museum Berlin)

Listen to a sound excerpt
Other sound installations