The program – four pieces plus another three from submissions for the Student 3D Audio Competition, exemplified what was also demanded of the audience on the following evenings: Stamina. From 7 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. – with short breaks – sound experiences were offered that found an international audience.
The start was made by “Organa Quadrupla” by Heinali, who used the grandiose sound possibilities of the Ambisonics system in the Dom im Berg with his modular synthesizer. Fascinated by polyphonic structures as used in the Renaissance, he set up his composition in a similar way. He produced the sound of old organs, alto flutes or a bagpipe and underlaid the running melody lines with a kind of basso continuo. After an intro, still completely attached to a historical soundscape, it becomes audible that it is electronic sounds that are being generated here. The swelling with the increase of voices happens up to a cathedral sound, in which a penetrating up and down of runs characteristically comes to the effect. A rhythm is also cleverly deposited in the bass in the last part of the work, which fades away towards the end. A sonically successful festival entry, which does not break too much with our listening habits and therefore found great approval among the audience.
In stark contrast was the collaborative work “forest Floodlights” by Croatian Manja Ristić, as well as Abby Lee Tee and Franziska Thurner, both from Austria. They received a composition commission as part of a SHAPE+ artist residency and explored the sound of a secluded area in the Mühlviertel for it. SHAPE+ is the platform for exciting new projects in music and audiovisual arts of the festival network ICAS, founded in 2014 by the music protocol together with fifteen other festivals. https://shapeplatform.eu/ It is funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe program. One of its bases, from which the trio worked, was Garage Drushba, formerly started by Karl Katzinger. It was a meeting place for offbeat cultural events in the nowhere until his death in 2021. From this Place they explored the area and created a visual-auditory, artistic diary. The water richness of the landscape, the remoteness, the ancient set pieces of the Garage Drushba, but also the beauty of nature were captured. In a combination of sound recordings and live recordings succeeded a coherent performance, in which one could dive deeply into the northern border of Austria. The visual realization received an extraordinarily aesthetic component through the superimposition of several video recordings. Sounds of nature such as birds chirping, water rushing or the rustling of dry leaves while walking over them alternated with e-sounds, but also live sounds of a violin and animal sounds. “forest floddlights” is a work not only with high recognition value, but it also makes you want to watch and listen to it more than once.
Taiwan-born artist Sabiwa presented “Island N. 16 – Memories of future Landscapes” with her partner Nathan L.. She describes the work as a place of memory she created during the pandemic.
In addition to a diverse video installation that alternates between real footage, footage in which real material has been alienated, and purely computer-generated footage, she created an equally diverse sound mesh. Recorded material is mixed with live recordings. Fish in an aquarium, to be seen on the video, fresh flowers in a floor vase on stage, in which garden hoses are inserted, through which air is blown, flute sounds, those of an alienated saxophone and singing, all this results in a visual as well as auditory kaleidoscope, which constantly changes form, color and sound. At the beginning, the video remains entirely rooted in the Asian cliché of bondage practices, but soon switches to purely computer-animated color constellations, and later to impressions of landscapes and cities and close-ups of butterflies or wasps feeding. The overall conduct speaks a youthful sound language with a high noise density, in which later passages change into the psychedelic. “Island N. 16 – Memories of future Landscapes” is a good example of the fluidity of musical different sources, alternating between the realms of E- and U-Music, which cannot be sustained in this way.
In OSWYC – the title of the composition by Robert Schwarz – he combines artificial and natural sounds, which, however, are indistinguishable from each other. With crickets chirping, wind noises and a billowing sound running across the room, he lets the audience enter his work. Door creaks, a sound resembling a bouncing roulette ball and a chirping accompanied by a dull bass repeat with slight changes. A buzzing, murmuring, gurgling and clanking is interrupted by a rattling, shortly after which one thinks to hear insect sounds. Again and again, it is natural sounds that one thinks one perceives, again and again the sounds and noises wander across the room and pretend what has only come about electronically.
The evening ended with contributions from three students who applied for the ‘Student 3D Audio Competition’. All three made clear how much they are immersed in the matter of space-body perceptions and once again demonstrated the breathtaking listening possibilities that the sound system in the Dom im Berg is capable of reproducing.