WASSERFALL

Performance
Wasserturm, Zurich
Address: Badweg 10, 8001-CH

Interdisciplinary artist IPek shapes a collective experience combining her traditional singing practice with reflections on the symbolic meaning of water and its role in our society. As a singer, the artist works with the healing traditions of water in folk music from different geographies. On the other hand, as an activist, she constantly questions the growing ecological crises that we partly cause with our consumption habits. IPek accompanies the listeners on this empirical as well as sonic journey as if they were all together on a boat: sometimes listening to a sinister song while sailing down the river of the underworld and at other times pouring water to say goodbye to our beloved in a village in Anatolia.

The performance is curated by Zaira Oram [Eleonora Stassi]


bio

IPek is an activist who expresses her thoughts through performance, design, writing, music and artwork. IPek draws attention to various social phenomena, combining issues she finds problematic with familiar but unexpected elements. Its themes are: Queer feminism, environment, system change, migration and displacement.
Born in Istanbul (1980) and raised in Hungary, IPek earned two degrees in Film Theory and History and Art Theory in Budapest. IPek completed her first master's degree as a philologist of aesthetics in Budapest and her second master's degree as a Master of Fine Arts at Zhdk. For many years she has been staging her socio-theoretical texts and popular songs in various Swiss theaters, such as Dampfzentrale, Roxy-Basel and Kaserne.

Performance
Wasserturm, Zurich
Address: Badweg 10, 8001-CH

In 2023, the artist and musician Yanik Soland is invited to perform live inside the Wasserturm (water tower), in order to create a 'heartbeat' that can contribute to make it a living organism emerging from a centuries-old silence. Soliloquy is inspired by meditation practices and local siren tests. Inside the tower, the artist plays an acoustic narrative using his self-build instrument ASMR KOTO, a transformed table-zengarden from his Japanese grandmother, distorted voice and a modular synthesiser. Through the windows and the door of the tower he amplifies and enlarges his small gestures on the instruments using speakers facing the environment nearby, developing a new relationship between the imperceptible and the perceived. The public is invited to meditate in the urban space by lying on mats placed around the tower.

The performance is curated by Zaira Oram [Francesca Ceccherini, Eleonora Stassi]

bio

(b. 1990, CH) Yanik Soland works as a musician and artist in Basel, CH.
As a bass player he was touring with bands like MIR and Zaperlipopette! all over Europe and Japan. In the last few years his focus turned to modular synthesis, self build instruments and composing music for theater and radio. His debut LP YUKI has been released in Summer 2021 with Futura Resistenza Records, NL. YUKI—the name Soland’s parents had planned to give him, if he were a girl—is Japanese for snow, snow-princess or luck, and is here used as an alter ego within Soland's practice. YUKI’s touchstones include Laurie Spiegel, Mark Fisher, Ruins, Dean Blunt, Maryanne Amacher, Tyler The Creator, Heather Leigh and Györgi Ligeti.

Sound installation
Wasserturm, Zurich
Address: Badweg 10, 8001-CH

Like an architectural flute hiding in the urban fabric of the city, the ancient water tower of Zurich comes alive with the sound installation The Whistle. The work is a site-specific intervention by the VACUT collective (Voices Against Corruption and Ugly Trading), initiated by Gilles Aubry in collaboration with Ale Hop, Aya Metwalli, Gabi Motuba and Sabina Leone.
The installation The Whistle features voice recordings presented inside the Wasserturm, audible from the surrounding public space. Informed by data leaks and NGO reports highlighting Switzerland's involvement in international money laundering, tax evasion, and predatory extraction of raw materials, the work seeks to address the affective cost of racial capitalism from a situated perspective. The VACUT Group (Voices Against Corruption and Ugly Trading) was formed to this end, gathering sound artists and musicians from countries involved in dubious business activities with the alpine nation.
The work relies on voice as an embodied manifestation of perceived social and environmental injustice. Each performer engages with a number of sources documenting corruption, land grabbing, human exploitation and environmental devastation in their home countries, along with their own perception of such phenomena. They respond to this experience through vocal improvisations in the course of recorded sessions. Assembled into a composition, the voices blend with the local ambient sound in Zürich. For the visitors, listening becomes a matter of participation, empathy and accountability, an invitation to attend to one's boundedness to near and distant realities.
The project further interrogates existing acoustic representations of Swissness, a term rebranded in the 1990s for marketing purposes, largely associated with attributes of fairness, precision, reliability, political stability, naturalness and cleanliness. An early example of Sonic Swissness can be found in the composition “Symphonie Les Echanges” by Rolf Liebermann, created for the 1964 Swiss national exhibition in order to introduce the visitor to the interaction of the economy in a novel way. Another instance can be found in the Sound Tower installed in Bienne by Andres Bosshard for Expo.02. Essentially a streaming dispositive for immersive aural experience, Bosshard's 
Klangturm offers a perfect metaphor for neoliberal soundscaping—smooth, consumption-oriented, and depoliticized. Following the rejection of the Responsible Business Initiative by a majority of Swiss voters in 2020, conversations on Sonic Swissness certainly deserve an update. This imperatively should include voices from Switzerland's partner countries, who can attest of the actual human and environmental cost of Swiss wellbeing.
VACUT Group members: Ale Hop (voice artist); Aya Metwalli (voice artist); Gabi Motuba (voice artist); Gilles Aubry (composer and project initiator); Sabina Leone (voice artist).

The sound installation is curated by Zaira Oram [Francesca Ceccherini, Eleonora Stassi]


bios

Alejandra Cárdenas Pacheco (also known as Ale Hop) is a Peruvian-born artist, researcher, and experimental musician based in Berlin. She began her career in the 2000s in Lima’s experimental and underground scene. In 2012, following several years of taking part in different pop and electronic bands, she finally started her solo project, in which she builds layers of sounds by blending a complex repertoire of electric guitar techniques processed by synthesis devices, to create a music of deep physical intensity. Furthermore, she co-founded the Berlin-based festival Radical Sounds Latin America (of which she was co-curator from 2019-21) and, nowadays, directs the publication Border-Listening/Escucha-liminal and the editorial platform Contingent Sounds, which facilitate critical discourses, and artistic research on listening.

Aya Metwalli is an Egyptian singer, composer and music producer. She started singing at the age of five, learned the piano in her early childhood and started writing songs on a self-taught acoustic guitar in her early adulthood. She studied music production in 2014 and has been experimenting with voice and synthesizers since.

Gabi Motuba is a South African award-winning jazz vocalist and composer. She studied jazz music at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and received her diploma in 2013. In 2019, Gabi Motuba returned to TUT to complete her B Tech in jazz music majoring in Jazz Improvisation.

Gilles Aubry is a Swiss artist, musician and researcher based in Lausanne and Berlin. He holds an MA in Sound Art from the Berlin University of the Arts (UDK) and a PhD in social anthropology from the Bern University. His work engages with sound, technology and environmental voices in relation to power and coloniality in various contexts.

Sabina Leone is a Swiss vocalist and musician based in Zürich. In her new project Héloïse Sabina Leone acts as a solo performer and creates musical images with expressive voice, drums and various percussion instruments. Sabina Leone builds on her long experience as a singer songwriter (solo album Mancare, 2007), with theater productions (Eusi chlii Stadt with Big Zis, Theater am Hechtplatz 2009 and Soirée, created by Alexandra Bachzetsis et al., Theaterhaus Gessnerallee 2008) and with bands such as Sabina Leone & Teké Ensemble, the duo Sorelle Leone and the female band Wemean, a snotty girl band that released an album in 1996 and toured throughout Europe and Cuba.


WASSERTURM – historical traces
Among the few places that survived the new Zurich urban plan - whose history remains unknown to most citizens and tourists - the Wasserturm was built in 1724 in the Talacker district with the aim of bringing water to the houses, local businesses but also to the fountains placed in the surrounding baroque gardens. Indeed, the district was lacking of independent public water supply. Hence, a group of citizens decided to join forces for a common mission: build a water tower that would distribute this primary good to people and activities in the area. For nearly 200 years, the water tower fulfilled its function, first through a water wheel and then through its transformation into a steam technology. Acquired by the city of Zurich, it later fell into disuse. Today it houses a center for sports activities.
The tower still stands with its white-green verticalism above the waters of the Sihl looking at the Old Botanical Garden. It is characterized by an octagonal plan rising four floors and a curved copper helmet roof that resembles the shape of an onion. Its symbolic presence and its silent memory, hidden between new contemporary buildings, make this place of significant historiographic, anthropological, social and even artistic interest

Sound performance
Wasserturm, Zurich
Address: Badweg 10, 8001-CH

The sound performance Calma Apparente is a sonic investigation into the possible futures of the water tower and its surroundings. Including its present and past, the artist Magda Drozd seeks connections between speculative resonances, history and recent activities within the tower. Through this sonic incursion into the urban space, the tower becomes a symbol of possible transformations and of the multiple natures that places can embody. Through the experimental performance that Drozd realizes with the violin and the synthesizer, nourished by the collaboration between the artist and some members of Kanupolo Zürich – who train inside the tower on a daily basis –, the building becomes a living musical instrument that lights up in the city and returns new stories. Here, where everything is apparently calm, something has been, something else happens and more will come. As Magda Drozd herself states: “The title Calma Apparente refers to the exact moment before the storm. A state where you can perceive the potential of something coming but everything around you is still calm. I am interested in the suspended time of a momentum, where we perceive the omen of a drastic change, the still hidden and invisible while contemplating in front of an old building or while having a walk along the water. While examining and including sounds that are part of the tower right now, a new landscape opens in front of us – telling a story of strength and fragility at the same time. Something will happen.”

The sound performance is curated by Zaira Oram [Francesca Ceccherini, Eleonora Stassi]

bio

Magda Drozd (1987, Poland) is a composer, musician, and artist working in the field of electronic, ambient and experimental music and sound art. She uses field recordings, digital and analog instruments like a synthesizer, e-guitar, violin, and her voice to create unique soundscapes and music that open imaginative and speculative atmospheres and works underneath the rational. Her LPs «Songs for Plants» and «18 Floors», both released on the Swiss label Präsens Editionen, were acclaimed internationally. Magda worked together with artists, film- and theater-makers to create sound and music for their audiovisual productions and art pieces. As an artist, she creates sound installations that were shown mostly in Switzerland in institutions like Helmhaus, Shedhalle Zürich and Oto Sound Museum. She lives and works between Zürich and Turin.

Collective listening and installation
Wasserturm, Zurich
Address: Badweg 10, 8001-CH

Often invisible to most people, the Wasserturm is a symbolic place that resists the waves of modernization, hiding in the urban fabric of the city. It is from the history of this profane place that Stirnimann-Stojanovic and mfj rulla have found inspiration to develop their collaborative work. Indeed, the Wasserturm was born out of the need for water distribution, which saw some citizens sharing a common mission and becoming active participants in the construction of the tower in the early 18th century. This social story led the artists to investigate the literature that relates to actions of self-organization and redistribution of resources in the present time, also one of the central subjects of their own artistic research. They are practices of resistance that belong to a radical imagination capable of activating processes of awareness, survival and procreation in relation to our behavior with the environment, human and non-human beings. The audio piece Resist! Persist! Maintain! (2022) is a collage of existing texts with the intertwining of voice and sound – a fuse that wants to light up and urge action in connection to some questions such as "What are possible ways to (re)claim the public space? What are possible ways to care for resources in a non-exploitative manner? What are possible ways to maintain collective structures in a rootless capitalist world?". Composed by mfj rulla, the soundscape accompanies the contents contributing to the transmission of the words’ meaning, and creating a space for the imagination to travel.
The audio work is presented on 6th May in the form of a collective listening that starts from the Wasserturm and moves to the Old Botanical Garden via wireless headphones. It is accompanied by the installation of a 9-metre-long banner distributed along the verticality of the tower. Visible from the Old Botanical Garden for two months, it bears the title of the sound work Resist! Persist! Maintain! as a message addressed to the community. During this time, the sound work is available to listen to free of charge via a qr code.

The intervention is curated by Zaira Oram [Francesca Ceccherini, Eleonora Stassi]


bio

Stirnimann-Stojanovic is a Zurich-based artist duo composed of Nathalie Stirnimann (*1990 in Fribourg) and Stefan Stojanovic (*1993 in Vranje, Serbia) who have been working together since 2015. Holding separate Bachelor’s in Fine Arts, they completed their Master’s degree at the Zurich University of the Arts as a duo.
Stirnimann-Stojanovic's concepts manifest in situations, performances, words and objects. Central themes in their practice are the social and structural issues of the art system seen from the viewpoint of aspiring artists. They are interested in exploring the boundaries between art, activism and society using transdisciplinary approaches. By involving the public, spectators become actors, permitting new types of dialogue. Their aim is to probe and call into question the reality of the art field and, using collective approaches, to thematize fairer and more sustainable working conditions.
Stirnimann-Stojanovic's works were shown in Switzerland and internationally. In 2021 they were awarded with the “Art grant of the city of Zurich 2021”, the “JKON Prize 2021”, a studio residency in Shanghai by Pro Helvetia (for 2023) and were nominated for the “Werkschau Zurich 2021”. They were recently artists in residence at Forum Schlossplatz in Aarau (2022), at Theater Neumarkt in Zurich (2021) and are artist partners of the research “Collecting the Ephemeral” (HSLU/SNF, 2020-2023).

Rulla Sutter (1992 in CH) is a sound artist/composer aka mfj rulla.
Since ever, mfj rulla aims to diffuse the frontier of our cosmic perception, combining the known with the unknown, nature with culture, slowly building a cooperative intelligence, harmonised by a rhythm that we share – surrounded by like minded decentralized dedication.
mfj rulla is co-building spaces for collective experiments – since 2015 additionally in the form of musical research gatherings. Combining experiences from interactive ableton live-set tours with previous degree work in sociology and data science.
https://mfjrulla.tumblr.com/

Sound performance
Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen

In collaboration with Sinfonieorchester St.Gallen, OTO SOUND MUSEUM presents the performance Mouvement by the artistic collective POLISONUM who realises the utopian live version of the piece for the first time at Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen (CH).
In 2018 the artists composed the sound piece Mouvement reworking the minuet k94 written and performed by W. A. Mozart in 1770 in Bologna during his first trip to Italy, when he was only fourteen. The piece Mouvement is characterized by a process of time-stretching, which has subjected the original minuet to an expansion of 248 years, the time that separates us from the day of the first run to the present time. The result has a diaphanous character offered by notes elongated in ethereal sonority, containing a memory that asks our hearing to listen far in time.
In 2021 Polisonum experiments by proposing the live execution of the score Mouvement obtained from the utopian writing of the time-stretched minuet. The sound performance includes the participation of eight string instrument musicians from the Sinfonieorchester St.Gallen (double basses, cellists, violists, violinists), who are asked to play keeping the deformed notes in a prolonged sound, challenging the limits of musical instruments and the conventional rules through which they are normally played, as well as the capabilities of the human body’s resistance.
The performance is presented in the frame of part of the Neustart-Festival, St.Gallen.

Performers from Sinfonieorchester St.Gallen – Violins: Oriana Kriszten, Gwendoline Rouiller Steiger / Violas: Igor Keller, Piotr Baik / Cellos: Ning Liang, Maria-Christina Flüge / Doublebass: Simon Hartmann, Grigori Katz / Thanks to: Karl Schimke

The sound performance is curated by Zaira Oram [Francesca Ceccherini, Eleonora Stassi]

bio

Polisonum (Filippo Lilli, Donato Loforese) is an artistic collective using sound as a method and device of investigation to explore processes and metamorphoses linked to the present time. It is characterized by a research-based approach directed at listening to and interpreting the spaces in which it operates through sound installations and performative acts in strong dialogue with visual languages. Thanks to its hybrid identity, Polisonum realizes projects that feed on a practice of study and analysis in relation to other fields of knowledge. Polisonum's work has been shown in several institutions and festivals, among others: Una boccata d'arte (AV), Fondazione Volume (RM), Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen (CH), Palazzo Altemps (RM), Palazzo Pallavicini (BO), Romaeuropa Festival (RM), OTO Sound Museum Zurich (CH), The Others (TO). The collective collaborates with La Sapienza University of Rome Faculty of Civil and Industrial Engineering on the Green Network project for the Public Space Biennial. In 2018 Polisonum received the Special "Utopia" Award of the Talent Prize and in 2016 the Best Unpublished Work Award during The Others. Over time the collective has released several vinyls, among the latest Passi 13'36'' in collaboration with the artist Alfredo Pirri.

Sound performance
La Voirie, Biel/Bienne

As part of the OTO SOUND MUSEUM live program 2021, the performance with Jurczok 1001 takes place at La Voirie in Biel/Bienne (CH) on 11th June. The artist is among Switzerland's spoken word pioneers and presents a performance from his Spoken Beats series. The performance opens a new artistic season "Post Lockdown", which led to a reflection on the narrative and evocative capacities of voice and gestures. Sound experimentation meets migration and digital nomadism: this encounter takes shape in the artistic perspective of Jurczok 1001. The encounter in Biel is dedicated to the limits of language.

The sound performance is curated by Zaira Oram [Eleonora Stassi]

bio

Jurczok 1001 (b. 1974, CH) lives and works in Zurich.
Jurczok 1001 is a spoken word artist, singer, human beatbox and performer. He has performed under this name since 1996 and is among Switzerland’s spoken word pioneers. He is best known for his Spoken Beats format, a virtuoso mix of spoken word, vocals and live looping that he has performed in a variety of international venues. He has appeared among other places at the Tata literature live! Festival in Mumbai, at the Berlin Poetry Festival, at the woerdz Festival in Lucerne, at Moscow’s Electrotheatre, at the Street Art Museum St. Petersburg, at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts in Philadelphia, at the Elevate Festival Graz, at Deutsches Haus New York and at the Solothurner Literaturtage. He has released two EPs and three singles. His most recent publications are Spoken Beats (Edition Patrick Frey, 2018), a collection of his spoken word texts from the last ten years, and the single Chumm, mi schlafed (Masterplanet, 2017). In 2020 he received an artist’s grant from the Landis & Gyr Foundation.

Sound performance
Artist's garden, Zurich

"Capturing and preserving living sound is as much an ancient ambition, as protecting what makes us survive. In archiving sound as an act of preservation, the captor of sound is taking care of those who listen." Paloma Ayala

LOUDREADING in the situated kitchen is the first intervention by OTO SOUND MUSEUM taking place with the Mexican artist Paloma Ayala as participative action and ritual. LOUDREADING in the situated kitchen is a reclamation of that mystical moment of carrying sound in a box, in a 'Zongzi' (a special dish made of rice, home-made ingredients, wrapped in bamboo) meaning that each person who interacted, contributed to the power of this practice as an ingredient and instigator of a collective voice. The sound performance has its first experimental reading session through a shared lunch in which everyone is invited to participate while eating.

The sound performance is curated by Zaira Oram [Francesca Ceccherini, Eleonora Stassi]

bio

Paloma Ayala (b. 1980, Matamoros, Mexico) is a visual artist interested in empowering the relationship between domestic living strategies and political contexts. She is a diaspora mother and a mestiza daughter whose work fictionalizes historical, ecological or social problematics as means of analysis and critique. Paloma´s projects nourish visions of connection and dreams of emancipation. Her favorite spaces to work range from kitchen to river shore, from international crossing bridge to agricultural land, from community meeting to aquelarre. Paloma’s work is rooted in her home, the eastern US/MX border landscapes, simultaneously blooming in her current base in Zurich.

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