SONIC TOPOLOGIES (Festival and record curation, 2022)

4 sites, 30 artists, scientists and architects

How many ways are there to listen to a place? Sonic Topologies presents a wide range of sonic research in Zurich’s urban landscape—underground and above ground, underwater and on the water. The project explores the sounds and acoustics of an empty reservoir, a botanical garden, a thermal bath, and a lake. In June 2022, thirty sound artists, architects and researchers developed concerts, talks, walks and workshops for these places. Their contributions reveal hidden and overlooked sounds and voices; the artists and scientists make spaces vibrate, shift their contexts, and connect them to distant locations and times; they enable encounters across species and disciplinary boundaries. With its manifold methods and instruments, the project not only reveals different aspects and potentials of the sites, but also offers a versatile toolbox for sonic landscape research which we compiled in the form of two vinyl records with a glossary of texts and photographs.

Photos by Johannes Berger

Artists & Researchers: Gilles Aubry & Anguezomo Mba Bikoro, Ludwig Berger, Andres Bosshard, Joel Cahen, Francesca Ceccherini, Banu Çiçek Tülü, Carlotta Darò, Nicola Di Croce, Magda Drozd & Salomé Voegelin, Camille Emaille & Julian Sartorius, Aio Frei & Franziska Koch, Fabian Gutscher, Beat Hohmann & Simone Mathieu, Patricia Jäggi, Olga Kokcharova, Juan López & Rok Šturm, Perila, Jen Reimer & Max Stein, Mélia Roger, Tomoko Sauvage, Nadine Schütz, Eleonora Stassi, Li Tavor, Saadet Türköz, Hong-Kai Wang, Christian Zehnder

Festival team: Ludwig Berger (curation, booking and fundraising), Nicholas Schärer (management, production and fundraising), Fabian Gutscher (production and sound tech), Johannes Rebsamen (production and hospitality), Andalus Liniger (production and sound tech), Matteo Marangione (research and assistance), Michael HoiMing Du (sound tech), Tillo Spreng (video documentation), Nomads Zurich (catering)

Publication and records: Ludwig Berger (text and sound editing, mixing, mastering), Johannes Berger (photography), Atlas Studio (design), Attila Faravelli (sound recording), Marjeta Morinc (image editing), Lara Mehling (text correction). «Listening With» exercises: voice by Izidora l LETHE, track C4 co-written with Cannach MacBride

Staff and assistants: Ella Esslinger, Sophia Garner, Dennis Häusler, Fujan Fahmi, Isabelle Fehlmann, Jennifer, Julian Fischbacher, Fabienne Girsberger, Magda Kaufmann, Juliette Martin, Antonina Nikolic, Luisa Overath, Emanuel Pulfer, Isabel Prado Caro, Gereon Siévi, Ansgar Stadler, Dominic Tálos, Christopher Tibaldo, Myriam Uzor, Matthias Vollmer

This project was made possible with the support of ETH Zurich (Chair of Christophe Girot, D-ARCH, NSL), Pro Helvetia, Kulturförderung Kanton Zürich, SNF Scientific Exchanges, Fondation Nestlé pour l’Art, Stiftung Temperatio, Popkredit Stadt Zürich, Fondation Suisa, Albert Huber-Stiftung, Cassinelli-Vogel-Stiftung, National Foundation of Arts and Culture (Taiwan), BSLA, Genossenschaft Kalkbreite, Old Botanical Garden and Ethnographic Museum (University of Zurich), and Wasserversorgung Stadt Zürich. A special thanks to Christophe Girot for the trust and generosity.

Realized at the Chair of Landscape Architecture of Christophe Girot, Institute of Landscape and Urban Studies (LUS), ETH Zurich

"'Sonic Topologies' is a truly engrossing interaction of music with the world and meaning that swirls arounds us. This beautifully produced double LP, accompanied by an in depth, exploratory booklet, has a bit of everything for everyone. Highly recommended. It entirely reframes ways of thinking about the environment and how we might regard our place in it all." (SoundOhm)