News |Kirsten Reese: Atmende Kugel

Johanna Diehl, Das imaginäre Studio XIV (Hermann Scherchens rotierender Nullstrahler, Studio für Elektroakustische Musik, Akademie der Künste, Berlin), gelatin silver print, 2017, 61 × 49 cm © Johanna Diehl

The rotating speaker sphere - called "Atmende Kugel" - developed by Hermann Scherchen in the Gravesano experimental studio - was conceived as an ideal, evenly radiating loudspeaker in all directions. Kirsten Reeses' composition is based on the acoustic research, which is documented in the LP supplements to the magazine series "Gravesaner Blätter" published by Scherchen. These sound documents are composed into a separate music in the interplay of vocal parts and speaker sphere. The sphere projects the sound in all directions, the singers position themselves around the sphere, as an image of the interlacing of the material and its transformation.

Scherchen can be described as a paradigmatic early representative of "artistic research". As a conductor, he was a pioneer of contemporary music alongside his performances of the classical repertoire, but also devoted himself to questions of the media, radio and recording technology and electronic music. In the experiments on the Gravesan LPs the utopianism and humanism of Scherchen and his fellow researchers are transported by the intensity of the examination of any acoustic phenomena.

In particular, the sound examples deal with perception and understanding: What is the "sounding message" of the medially recorded sound material? The sound of the speaker sphere gives the historical sound documents and their new composition an aura and a lively presence at the same time.


Atmende Kugel (2017)
für sechs Stimmen und Hermann Scherchens rotierende Lautsprecherkugel
Worldpremiere with Neue Vocalsolisten at KONTAKTE '17
Sunday, October 1, 2017, 8 PM
Akademie der Künste Berlin

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