Gesänge der Fahnenmasten
Radio feature, sound art, Siemens Arts Program, House Musik, Radio Rohrdamm, Alois Späth, David Rusitschka, June 2009, Berlin
Gesänge der Fahnenmasten was a collaborative project with sound artist Alois Späth. The intention was to find specific sounds of the district Siemensstadt in Berlin (named after the company Siemens) and to use these sounds to create a composition. We spent days field recording, searching for 'the' Siemensstadt sound.
Though our project was officially part of the Siemens Arts Program we had a hard time trying to explore the area - especially carrying our suspicious recording equipment. Most of the time we found ourselves in front of walled company areas, locked doors and leery security guards refusing entry.
These inaccessible areas were also guarded by countless flagpoles displaying company names, clearly visible from afar. In a strange ambiguity, these large signs seemed to welcome you from far away, but turned into inhospitable warnings once you approached them.
Nevertheless, being confronted with these flagpoles over and over again we began to see them as our only counterparts in the Siemensstadt , particularly as no one else would talk to us (besides the word 'no' ).
To our surprise these flagpoles really had something to say. In fact their auditory output was exceptionally fascinating. The sounds (induced by wind that set the constructions in motion) ranged from short impulsive rattles to long stretched squeaks and creaks. What we heard appeared as chants in an unknown language. Listening to theses chants we more and more felt like natural scientists discovering the secret communication between these flagpole-creatures and their environment.
The title Gesänge der Fahnenmasten (Chants Of The Flagpoles) refers to this effect, the direct impression of the actual sounds the flagpoles produced as well as the way they convincingly became alive through their very sound.
The final composition consists mainly of the original recorded sounds put together in a collage. To convey our wonder about the flagpole-chants we decided to let them 'sing' in their own way.
Gesänge der Fahnenmasten was featured on the 3 Sat-TV show Neues on 17.01.2010.