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Best of 2024


Sonic Topologies (2LP + Booklet)

Label: Institute of Landscape Architecture

Format: 2LP + Booklet

Genre: Sound Art

In process of stocking


Tip! "How many ways are there to listen to a place? “Sonic Topologies” presents a wide range of sonic research in Zurich’s urban landscape—underground and above ground, underwater and on the water. The project explores the sounds and acoustics of an empty reservoir, a botanical garden, a thermal bath, and a lake. In June 2022, thirty sound artists, architects and researchers developed concerts, talks, walks and workshops for these places. Their contributions reveal hidden and overlooked sounds and voices; the artists and scientists make spaces vibrate, shift their contexts, and connect them to distant locations and times; they enable encounters across species and disciplinary boundaries. With its manifold methods and instruments, the project not only reveals different aspects and potentials of the sites, but also offers a versatile toolbox for sonic landscape research which we compiled in the form of a glossary of texts and photographs, as well as two vinyl records.

The first LP opens with acoustic stimulations of the empty reservoir chambers. Long reverberating vocal improvisations by Christian Zehnder and Saadet Türköz are followed by resonant instrumental pieces for horn and electronics by Canadian duo Reimer & Stein and Tomoko Sauvage's water bowls. The following pieces activate the Käferberg thermal bath with speakers both in and above water. A synthesizer composition by architect and composer Li Tavor makes the different speeds of sound audible, while Perila's ambient piece immerses us in an intimate world of vocal and harmonic waves.

The second LP introduces the fauna and flora of the botanical garden: A chronological montage by sound anthropologist Patricia Jäggi traces the morning birds in spring. Laser recordings of the biologists Juan López & Rok Śturm reveal the hidden vibrational world of summer insects. An electronic piece by Banu Çiçek Tülü tells us the history of botanical plants. The five digital bonus tracks explore further the different layers of the garden as well as its surroundings. The record closes with live performances on the lake: Fabian Gutscher rows a boat with underwater piano wires, and Emaille & Sartorius play a drum duo on two moving boats, disappearing into the acoustic horizon of the lake. Sound exercises by the duo Frei & Koch at the end of each side invite the listeners to explore their own environment and dimensions of listening." - Ludwig Berger

Cat. number: n/a
Year: 2023