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Founded in 1989 by Bruce Odland (* 1952 Milwaukee, USA) and Sam Auinger (* 1956 Linz, Austria).
Quiet is the New Loud
Counter for borrowing the hovering speakers and walking guide:
Poortersloge [Burgher's Lodge]
Entrance from Kraanrei 19
20 May - 18 October 2015
The sound of a city, in a world dominated by images. That is what fascinates the artistic duo Bruce Odland and Sam Auinger. They were also very surprised at how quiet and beautiful Bruges is compared with their home cities of Berlin and New York.
The historic centre still possesses a unique soundscape, rich with historic acoustics, reverberating alleys, echoing squares, rippling canals and sound reflections of hundreds of different types of windows. While the metropolitan sounds of trains, innumerable cars, shop's loudspeakers, helicopters and ventilation systems are largely absent. They were thrilled to find that you can still hear whispering. You can still hear swans shake out their wet feathers or the sole of a shoe walk on the cobbles. A city on a human scale and a feast for the ear.
This was the ideal starting point for them to mark out a number of Songlines through Bruges. You see with your ears just like a bat. At certain locations hovering speakers are controlled by a GPS network. They will transform the architectural space of Bruges into an audible, acoustic space along three different walks:
- Water Songline: 1,2 km / 30 - 45 minutes
- Park Songline: 2,6 km / 60 - 90 minutes
- Night Songline: 1,6 km / 45 - 75 minutes
But you can also set off and discover the Earmarks without a loudspeaker. Using a detailed map you can criss-cross the city with your ears at your own pace. On the bench on the Brug for example, at the chocolate sculpture by Rainer Ganahl and the text sculpture by Nathan Coley, you can listen to the echo of the carillon in the square, with voices, footsteps and horse's hooves as the counterpoint. Or you can listen to how the water in the canals is disturbed by a small boat carrying tourists, under the canopy of the plane trees.
Or lie down on the crimson platform on the Jan van Eyckplein (in front of the Porter's Lodge) and listen to the real time sound of cars, buses and people, as you have never heard them before. What you usually experience as interfering and irritating noise becomes a Zen moment. This is Bruges tuned.
Sounding Bruges is a collaboration with the city carillonneur Frank Deleu. It is a special composition for the carillon and city acoustics. Simple sound patterns will resonate through the city, across the water, in the alleys and streets and will unexpectedly breathe life into Bruges in a unique auditory manner. Sounding Bruges replaces the fixed carillon concerts on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, for the duration of the Triennial.
(© Text: Walking Guide, Bruges Triennial 2015)