Radio Art Residency Different forms of silence

Sol Rezza performs a sound collage about time.
Sol Rezza performs a sound collage about time. | Photo: Marcus-Andreas Mohr

A sound map of Halle, a live broadcast from the water tower: In cooperation with Radio CORAX, the Goethe-Institut awarded an international scholarship for radio art for the first time. The Argentinean artist Sol Rezza is the first scholarship holder of the Radio Art Residency. We asked her about her sound experiments in Halle.

You just moved to Halle from Mexico. What are your first impressions?

Halle is a contrast to Mexico. Everything seems very quiet to me, the silence is connected with the weather, with the snow. I’m working out the different forms of silence in a sound piece. I’m interested in the vertical sounds of the city’s chief landmarks: the sound of the bells or even the sounds of the city’s towers. I had the opportunity to visit one of the water towers where we’re producing a live radio broadcast.

The listeners were taken in the sound performance. The listeners were taken in the sound performance. | Photo: Marcus-Andreas Mohr How would you describe the sound of Halle?

The bells are very dominant, but I don’t think that alone defines the city. I’m working with the idea of vertical sounds and silence. For example, the sounds associated with two important painters: the murals by Hans-Joachim Triebsch and Lyonel Feininger’s cityscapes of Halle. They captured the sounds and the history of Halle. The Saline Museum is also fascinating: The history of salt contains very special sounds that are associated with the mining, processing and trading of salt.

Making immigration audible

What projects would you like to pursue?

We’re creating a sound map of Halle. It encompasses several experimental sounds, soundscapes and radio broadcasts linked to different places in Halle. For example, walks on the river, which people describe in different languages to make immigration audible. We broadcast live from the water tower, where we combine the acoustics of the place and previously recorded sounds from the bathrooms of Halle. This creates a novel, playful perception of ordinary sounds.

The opening of the Radio Art Residency took place in the house of literature in Halle. The opening of the Radio Art Residency took place in the house of literature in Halle. | Photo: Marcus-Andreas Mohr Tell us about radio art in Latin America. What are the biggest differences?

The biggest difference is that projects in Latin America are heavily influenced by political organisations. Unfortunately, there is no defined space for sound experiments and the development of new modes of communication. We want to compile storytelling, technologies and media to a single idea. Independent radio can provide a central space for it. That’s why we should explore it more.

Work with sounds and silence

What will you take back to Mexico with you?

The experience of working at an independent radio station and sharing with people in another place will fundamentally change my work with sounds and silence. I also hope to go back home with a pile of new recordings and ready-made sound pieces along with lots of new ideas.