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Sam Auinger – architecture as a sound box

Sam Auinger – composer, sound-artist and sonic thinker – visited our program to offer a fascinating introduction of how architecture shapes the sonic environment and influences how we perceive space and place. Auinger explained how what we hear is determined by principles from physics, psycho acoustics, cultural setting and personal memory, and introduced us to different techniques of active listening.

Together with Bruce Odland, Sam Auinger founded O+A in 1989. Their central theme is “hearing perspective”. Their work is known for large scale, public space sound installations which transform city noise into harmony in real-time. 2009 O+A started on the “Sonic Commons” questioning the dominance of the visual culture in our perception of the world.

Besides his longtime artistic collaboration with Bruce Odland he is a founding member of “stadtmusik” a collaboration between the Berlin-based composers Sam Auinger and Hannes Strobl with the media artist Dietmar Offenhuber. Stadtmusik deals with sound in cities, by analysing sound structures which are triggered by urban buildings and facilities. They focus on the aspect of movement in the city, which reinforces a dynamic experience of the urban soundscape: particular sounds emerge through movement, sound and its timbre evolves from material and space.

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