Ars Electronica 2016, PostCity Linz Austria
“Imagine, a space starts to talk to you, but not with words and strings of meaning instead in changing states and moods (by sound), you can sit, lay down or walk in it.”
The space is the instrument is the space. Its specific idiosyncrasy, its tonal, vocal and acoustic qualities constitute the object of attention of this concert cycle. A series of concerts of varying duration and staged at different times during the festival’s run engenders on site a tonal space that plays with visitors’ perception of space and time, and the emotional perceptibility of the space.
Idea / Concept: Sam Auinger
Composed and performed by: Sam Auinger & Hannes Strobl aka tamtam
Including the compositional element of a tuning tube by: Bruce Odland & Sam Auinger aka O + A
Artistic support: Katrinem and Stefan Weissenberger
Technical support: Thomas Koch and Gerd Thaller
The Instrument / The Space
The spatial configuration of the Gleishalle makes it an extraordinary setting for sensory perceptions within the context of everyday experience. This indoor space is a former railroad freight car loading/unloading dock for the transshipment of letters and parcels. The form and materiality of the architecture follows its function (logistics operations). The space’s dimensions—more than 200 meters long, about 50 meters wide, less than 8 meters high— determine two of its fundamental auditory traits: a resonance time of approximately six seconds, and an audible topography.
In music, a cycle is a multi-part composition with a shared context of meaning. The parts normally represent variations on a theme. The Gleishalle with its specific auditory qualities is the theme of this concert cycle. The space’s specific quality is primarily the result of its unusual spatial proportions. Here, a sound (acoustic event) fades away in the width and length of the space and not in its height too, as we’re familiar with in comparably vast spaces such as cathedrals — for example, St. Mary’s (Mariendom) in Linz.
The space’s extraordinary characteristics with respect to architecture and materiality will be interrelated to a loudspeaker system so as to bring about the development of a compositional language. This will create the possibility of organizing acoustic events in such a way that audience members can partake of various auditory experiences: spatial coloration, spatial density, spatial depth, spatial movements and spatial states, both stable and unstable.