In [sound] Listening to the World at the Humboldt-Box Berlin, sounds are spatially staged. The 3D Audiosystem usomo is a part of it. With usomo, visitors can dive interactively and immersively into oriental soundscapes of Arabian music of the last hundred years.
Sound reaches us directly, and yet it is fleeting. As a vibrant process of exchange it triggers deep emotions. Sound challenges and moves us – in every culture, and in every era. Our world is only revealed as a whole through vibrations, noise, tones, sound, music and speech.
Historical sounds in the archive
With the invention of the phonograph in 1877, a number of new opportunities also opened up for science and research. Ethnologists use modern technology to capture sounds, describe their specific meaning for a particular culture, and explain how they are spread. Such recordings will be collected and catalogued in the new sound archives which are under currently under construction. The project is driven by the desire to identify and compare cultures through recordings of language and music.
Who is allowed to record, preserve and utilize whose sounds? To what extent can dividing lines be drawn between individual music cultures? What unites the music of the Arab world collected by the AMAR Foundation, for example – does it stand for a specific identity?
Sound archives need to address such questions, particularly in the case of highly sensitive collections such as the recordings of the Navajo or of prisoners of World War I.
Two collections come together
In late 2019, the Humboldt Forum will be bringing together two institutions that are famous throughout the world for their sound recordings: the Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv of the Ethnologisches Museum and the Lautarchiv of the Humboldt-Universität (HU). The exhibition demonstrates the huge potential of both collections by presenting a sample of their contents.
Featuring historical recording devices and media as well as several interactive exhibits, the exhibition begins with an introduction to recording and playback technologies. Historical sound recordings, artistic installations and objects providing background context all shed light on this exceptional scholarly project that investigates different cultures through their sounds. read more
22 March to 16 September 2018