MULTI-CHANNEL AUDIO INSTALLATION
Philharmonie de Paris (FR)
Venice Biennale (IT)
Soundwalk Collective was given unprecedented access to the halls of the emblematic nightclub Berghain / Panoramabar in Berlin.
A re-incarnation of the legendary Ostgut club, the focal point of Berlin’s techno subculture, the Berghain building is a former East German power plant that is remarkable for its enormous dimensions, 18m high dance floor and minimalist constitution of steel, glass and concrete.
An architectural space that facilitates experiences of sacredness, collective oneness and egalitarianism, Berghain is known for its impressive sound system, extended afterhours, and the defining sound of Berlin techno.
The Collective have placed 147 contact sensors on all surfaces inside and outside of the club: concrete walls, steel staircases, water pipes, ventilation tunnels, air ducts, metal frames, cages, fences, dark rooms, toilets, engine rooms, industrial glass windows, pillars, dj booths, ceilings.
Over the course of multiple club nights they mapped out the whole structure and progressively recorded the entire movement of the building under the impact of the hammering music.
Structures are not silent.
Not only humans or animals are affected by sound, but the entire environment is, living and non-living bodies. As sonic anthropology, the Collective’s intention was to expose the silent voice of the building, its own echo, as an invisible architectural dance.
They have used instruments from the Atelier Baschet especially modified to translate low-frequency oscillations into resonance.
In the composition, we hear the sound of Berghain’s architecture played through the metallic plates of the Baschet instruments, revealing a musical interpretation of the building’s vibration.
What appears is a sense of harmony of very atmospheric quality, reflecting the different gravities and masses of each structure. As if the beat has penetrated every surface, wall and window of the club, and has progressively inhabited the structure and fossilised, leaving an echo, a sonic memory.
The sense of space, floatiness and levitation are reminiscent of the left-over, the impact that the music has left in our bodies. The sense of stupor and daze that we feel walking out of a club after long hours of listening and dancing, when there is no more solid matter, where everything is molecular and particles are suspended in mid-air, when silence has a voice.
‘Oscillation’ is featured as part of the exhibition
‘Electro: from Kraftwerk to Daft Punk’
Philharmonie de Paris, April 9 – August 11, 2019, curated by Jean-Yves Leloup
Venice Biennale, September 23 – November 11, 2019, curated by Francesca Benvenuti
Concept and artistic direction: Stephan Crasneanscki
Arrangement: Simone Merli
Baschet instruments installation and recording: Nicolas Becker
@ Berghain Panorama bar, Berlin
Pulses and frequency sweeps: Kamran Sadeghi
Architectural recording: Stephan Crasneanscki, Simone Merli
Contact microphones by Schertler SA
@ Atelier Baschet, Saint Michel sur Orge
Cristal Baschet (Bass, Medium, Two Leaves, One Leaf, Cones, Brass),
SAD, Baschet Instrumentarium, Strings, Voice Leaves All instruments performed by Stephan Crasneanscki, Simone Merli
Recorded via DPA microphones, Bruel & Kjaer accelerometers, custom built shakers
Mix: Tyler Friedman at Sakha Studio, Berlin
Mastering: Finyl Tweek, London
Produced and composed by Soundwalk Collective for Philharmonie de Paris
All Berghain photos by Stephan Crasneanscki
Photo of the ‘Katsuraphone’ Baschet Sound Sculpture by the Kyoto City University of Arts, with kind permission of the Succession Frère Baschet @ADAGP, Paris
Sound technology by L-Acoustics
Special thanks: Berghain Panoramabar, Andre Jürgens, Jean-Yves Leloup, Frederic Fradet, Nicolas Becker, Christian Heil, Association Structures Sonores Baschet, Succession Frère Baschet, Baschet Association of Japan, L-Acoustics, Philharmonie de Paris, Analogue Foundation, The Vinyl Factory