tallinn sound workshop

sonic surveys of tallinn

MOKS and Tuned City present:

workshop: exploring, mapping and field recording of urban soundscapes

May 18-22, 2010
5 days, 12-15 people

led by: John Grzinich, Derek Holzer, Patrick McGinley
workshop module conducted in the frame of Tuned City, Tallinn 2011 Culture Capital

free and open to the public
questions and registration to: info[ät]maaheli.ee

This interdisciplinary workshop (of artists, architects, anthropologists, geographers) concentrates on exploring working methods for mapping and documenting urban spaces and architectural structures of the city of Tallinn. The methods used will combine research and practical skills in surveying and recording the “sonic geographies” found throughout the city. As Tallinn has radically different zones, both architecturally and socially  our research aims to reflect expose and reflect the variety of soundscapes to be found there.

This would include the practical elements of an overall “field recording” and “listening” workshop with an introduction to sound, soundscape and field recording techniques. The structure of the workshop divides the overall group of participants into several small scouting teams (3 groups of 4 or 5 people) that make excursions to different districts of the city. A range of locations could include the Soviet ‘plattenbau’ districts like Lasnamäe and Õismäe, the park areas of Kadriorg and Nõmme and the seaside districts of Pirita and Kopli (or whatever else can be introduced) for example.

Mapping the possible overlays of sonic regions or even specific sounds will help define potential “sonic landmarks”, as one of the main themes for the Tuned City event to be held in July of 2011. Afterward we can pool the coordinates and recordings into a “map” or Survey of Acoustic Geography of Tallinn.

click on the radio aporee maps image below to hear recordings from the workshop
sound map of Tallinn


Tuesday 18.5
Introductory session: soundscape listening, sonic geographies, survey methodologies

Wednesday 19.5 – Friday 21.5
Survey sessions: field work with location scouting and sonic surveys of Tallinn city districts (parks, neighborhoods, buildings, abandoned spaces etc.), 3 groups

Saturday 22.5
working session: preparation of the Sonic Survey Map of Tallinn, assembling documents from the survey sessions (recordings, photos, videos, sketches, notes).

Saturday 29.5
presentation/exhibition at Tuned City public event, project introduction of “Tuned City – Sonic Landmarks Tallinn 2011”

About the workshop leaders:

John Grzinich (1970) has been conducting various forms of sound research for over 15 years, including field recording, kinetic sculptures, electro-acoustic composition, performance, group workshops and exercises in listening. Currently he lives in Estonia and works as a program and media lab coordinator for MoKS, a non-profit artist-run center in south Estonia.

Derek Holzer (1972) is an American sound artist living in Berlin, whose current interests include DIY analog electronics, sound art, field recording and the meeting points of electroacoustic, noise, improv and extreme music. He has played live experimental sound, as well as taught workshops in Pure Data and electronics, across Europe, North America, Brazil and New Zealand. Holzer is currently a fellow at the KHM (Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln) in Cologne.

Patrick McGinley (1974) is an american born sound and performance artist who has lived and worked in europe since 1996. from 1996 until 1998 he lived in paris, where he studied theatre, and began his sound experiments in the context of those studies. he has composed works for several theatre performances, including the works of his own company, as well as performing live soundworks for others. in 2002 he co-founded framework an organisation that produces a weekly radio show on london’s resonance 104.4fm. his work concentrates on the framing of sounds from our environment which normally pass through our ears unnoticed and unremarked, but which out of context become unrecognisable, alien and extraordinary.

About Tuned City:

Tuned City is a platform which proposes an examination of the relations between architecture and sound. This ongoing project draws the traditions of critical discussion about urban space within architecture and urban planning discourse – as well as its strategies and working methods – into the context of sound art. This expanded discussion reinforces the potential of the spatial and communicative properties of sound as a tool and means of urban practice. Tuned City continues as a platform, exploring other cities and locations with their own cultural and social settings, working theoretically and practically on the question how sound and architecture are related.

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