EMERGE – steps
factory-pressed CD in Digisleeve
„steps“ is an audiovisual project by EMERGE & EaZy
EMERGE: field recordings, composition, design
“steps” is composed exclusively from field recordings made at the Dachau Concentration Camp memorial site.
What is it that we’re hearing? Is it the wind? Is it the sea? Is it the crackle of a burning fire? Where are we? A great sense of loneliness pervades the quiet setting which we cannot quite make out. And then suddenly living creatures enter the sonic scene. Birds and people, their voices and their steps. They seem to be walking, walking past us, towards a destination we do not know. We cannot understand in what language or languages they are speaking – or can we? It is hard to make out, because everything they say is strangely muffled, although they are not speaking in a low voice. Everything we hear feels either too loud or too quiet, too close or too distant. As if some shock had happened to our hearing before we started listening to this album. Like a bomb exploding in close proximity to our ears. Or something so unimaginably terrible that it bent the acoustic space in the place from which these sounds come through to us. This is how the album “steps” begins.
The album “steps” is composed exclusively from field recordings made at the Dachau Concentration Camp memorial site. It is not possible to represent the horrors of concentration camps in music, and – a lesson learned from the many failures in the history of “industrial music” – the attempt to do so will inevitably result in trivialising kitsch, at best. Therefore, the album “steps” does not claim to be an album “about” a concentration camp, it is an album about a memorial site. Like the modern-day classic on the subject, “Gurs. Drancy. Gare de Bobigny. Auschwitz. Birkenau. Chelmo-Kulmhof. Majdaneck. Sobibor. Treblinka” by Stéphane Garin & Sylvestre Gobart (2011), “steps” goes to show to what extent contextual information about the sonic subject matter of a piece influences our listening. This artistic strategy can also be read in political terms: Only if we know the history behind these sounds – and the history of the place where they were recorded – are we able to make sense of the present.
For part 2, EMERGE invited sound artists from all over Europe to give their characteristic processing to the original audio field recordings. The resulting audio fragments are fed into the performance, symbolising a peaceful, solidary encounter of cultures – in deliberate contrast to the fact that people from many European countries were brought together in the Dachau concentration camp by utmost force.
File under: electroacoustic music, field recordings
steps 2 consists entirely of reworked field recordings by:
Claus Poulsen (DK)
Dabit Vocem Austria (AT)
Sofia Bertomeu (ES)
Limited Liability Sounds (PL)
Herr Penschuck (DE)
Anja Kreysing (DE)
Federico Dal Pozzo (IT)
Toni Dimitrov (MK)