SUAL Archives | 2011

Oliver Schneller: Polis — eight-channel promenade concert

Duration:     13‘34“ (excpt)
Type:             Recorded live at SUAL 2011
Credits:        Audio recording by JF, editing by BG


8-Channel Soundscape Composition (2008-09)

Commissioned by «Taswir – Pictorial Mappings of Islam and Modernity»
ha’atelier platform for philosophy and art / Berliner Festspiele
Nov. 5 2009 – Jan. 18. 2010, Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin

Duration: 59 Minutes

This work is originally a sound installation spread over eight loud speakers created for the exhibition «Taswir – Pictorial Mappings of Islam and Modernity» conceptualized and curated by Dr. Almut Bruckstein which was presented in Berlin 2009-2010. The acoustic material consists exclusively of audio recordings produced in four different cities: Cairo, Beirut, Jerusalem and Istanbul. In each city I took extensive random walks over the course of three days, recording hundreds of sounds along the way to assemble a kind of «acoustic portrait» of each city. During these walks I kept a log of the exact times and locations of the recorded sounds. Back in the studio in Berlin I edited the recordings and superimposed the four layers, ordering the recorded material roughly according to the times they were taken. At each «cut» in the material I added a brief reverberation in order to acoustically identify the edit points. I balanced the volume levels according to the density and volume of each sound texture, occasionally letting one city step into the foreground, another time two or three cities, or at times having all four layers produce a dense but richly individualised polyphony.

Oliver Schneller

Oliver Schneller was born in Cologne studied composition at Columbia University in New York where he completed his doctorate in composition with Tristan Murail in 2002. From 2002-2004 he worked as a compositeur en recherche at IRCAM. He was a guest artist/researcher at the Experimentalstudio des SWR in 2007, a guest artist at ZKM Karlsruhe in 2009, and at GRM/Radio France in 2013. In 2018 he was appointed Edgar-Varèse-Guest Professor des DAAD at the Technical University Berlin. The focus of Oliver Schneller’s composition and research lies in the creation of works which combine musical instruments, architectural spaces, and live computer processing.

[info as of 02/2019]