Sound Cinema Cityscapes - DSS2016EU | Tabakalera - Donostia / San Sebastián

Sound Cinema Cityscapes

Musical cityscapes

Sound cinema cityscapes
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Many composers from all parts of Europe were invited to create musical cityscapes of their cities. Thanks to that, in this programme by DSS2016EU,  we are going to see and hear the electroacustic portraits of Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław and five Basque cities (Bayonne, Bilbao, Pamplona, San Sebastián and Vitoria). The sessions for children and for adults will open a gate to new understanding of the sounds and music from various parts of Europe—large agglomerations and more mysterious and unknown areas alike. Thus, we effect one of the main assumptions of the Musica Electronica Nova Festival—to make the unknown more accessible and to promote interest in contemporary music.  


December 3

18:00 - Pictures of Warsaw 

Barbara Okoń-Makowska, curator


Pictures of Warsaw is a collection of sound impressions by artists from the capital city. These personal statements on selected sub-themes, composed in time and space and cyclic in form, create a sound portrait of Warsaw. The image, seemingly made of heteronomous elements, is meant to showcase the different aspects of functioning and experiencing a big city with a diversified nature, history, community, events and places. Stories about Warsaw can be constructed following various orders and from different perspectives. There is place for both the symbolic description of the metropolis, as well as for the day-to-day experience. 


19:30 - Cityscape Cracow

Magdalena Długosz, curator

Cityscape Cracow is a critical image of the city. Each composition relates to a different aspect characterizing Cracow. These five sound images come together to define what the creators deem most distinctive and vital about the city. Seen from the perspective of its inhabitants, Cracow is a city completely different from what the tourists get to experience on their trips. Initially idyllic, the vision of the historical city with a rich tradition transforms into an ambiguous image that is full of contradictions. 


December 4

18:00 - Wroclaw

Mateusz Ryczek, curator


A concert is a ritual, pertaining to a sum of various behaviours, social usages, aesthetic expectations, and a sense of satisfaction or unfulfilment. This concert is just the case in question, however there is a hidden meaning to its ritual. The featured field recordings and electronic compositions will take us to widely different acoustic environments of Wrocław, including Przejście Świdnickie [Świdnickie Underground Passage] before it was revitalised. Przejście will continue to recur throughout the programme, and we will bid it farewell in the last piece. The farewell Requiem was inspired by and created on the basis of an utterance by Monika – a florist who used to work in Przejście Świdnickie before its revitalisation. The recording will be presented as an original soundscape, alongside other recordings from Przejście Świdnickie as it was before the refurbishment. In between the subsequent soundscapes from Przejście Świdnickie we will visit various places in Wrocław, deemed extraordinary by blind people. The recordings were produced by Maciej Bączyk as part of the ‘Invisible Map of Wrocław’ project. Electronic compositions are intertwined with soundscapes. Each composition uses sounds drawn from Wrocław’s acoustic environment. Works by Lidia Zielińska, Rafał Zalech and Mateusz Ryczek use the sounds of Wrocław as raw material, whereas the work of Kamila Staśko-Mazur is at the boundary of composition and reportage – built on a choice of soundscapes and citizen’s accounts of the city’s acoustic environment. 


19:30 - Basque Cities Sound Portrait 

Ramon Lazkano, curator

Zuriñe F. Gerenabarrena, performer 


The Basque Country is a land of strong contrasts: the mountains overlook a brave and dominant sea, densely populated cities rise amid an exuberant nature, ancient traditions coexist with an economic fabric in which industry and technology are vital. It is said that Basque people are of an individualistic and closed nature, however, they have always met with their neighbours to enjoy the pleasures of life: eating – their cuisine is an international referent; singing – choirs are counted by hundreds in their territory; and dancing – with huge festivals like San Fermin. In the history of Basque society sailors stand out, some of them pioneers in exploring the globe. But even if they have traveled so far, culture, which is defended as a gem in this little corner in the Bay of Biscay, has been preserved around one of the oldest languages in Europe, Euskera. For all this, and although it can be crossed by car in just a couple of hours, this is a country of differences, as abrupt as its mountain ranges.

The five works on this project, each around a Basque town, try to reflect the diversity of the geographic, social and cultural landscape. They have been created by some of the most relevant Basque composers working in the area of electroacoustic music, and touch divergent and complementary aspects: the relationship of the city with the sea, in the work of Chamizo (San Sebastián); the specificity of language and speech, that of Gerenabarrena (Bayonne); transforming the sound of the city parallel to the life of its inhabitants, created by García de la Torre (Pamplona); a social and philosophical vision of the urban soundscape proposed Lauzurika (Vitoria); and the international dimension of the work of Luc, in which she twins Bilbao with cities as far away as Melbourne.