Sitting in a lecture, trying to understand the professor’s slides and studying some theoretical knowledge for law, English literature, history or musicology – sounds like a usual day at university. Theory is the foundation of scientific studies at every university.
Still some phenomena can be experienced in pratice better than from a written text. An excursion is made very rarely, tough. Luckily we got the chance to visit Berlin last weekend with our musicology course. We explored the sound of the city and witnessed the special atmosphere of the German capital.
We got to know the broadcast studio of the local Radio and Television, rbb, which also included an old chamber music hall. Its architecture was designed to create a certain acoustic and we learned about the analogue way of producing radio from some decades before.
Furthermore a proto type of Wave field synthesis was presented to us by the Berlin University of Arts. The special audio system can create a virtual acoustic environment which has been displayed by compositions of music students from Weimar. They recreated the sound of a forest, and in a second example the acoustic map of the Berlin underground stations. At night we had an incredible time at the Warschauer Brücke listening to street performers including Donata Kramarz who studied music in Amsterdam and is an amazing singer.
After this highly interesting first day in Berlin we spent the next day outside in the city itself. We walked along lots of amazing and inspiring Street Art and followed the trails of Rammstein, Nina Hagen, the Ramones or the Beatsteaks. In the evening we got the chance to interview one of the artists in person who told us his own story and perspective on Berlin – “a very young and energetic city” in his opinion.
By walking the streets of the capital many pictures were taken and we also recorded lots of sounds. We will work them through and maybe create a Berlin sound collage later on. But first, here are some photographic impressions for you. Enjoy!