Teaching improvisation at the Musikhochschule in Basel since 1985, Swiss composer and sound artist Walter Fähndrich (b. 1944) is both a professional viola player performing in chamber ensembles (see here) and a composer interested in various genres like stage and film music, electroacoustic music or Hörspiel (see official website). Since 1980, Fähndrich has explored room frequency resonances through a series of sound installations in art galleries, specific architectural sites and even outdoor venues (like Music for a Quarry, 1999; see info/video). Titled Musik für Räume, or music for spaces, these sound installations use simple electronic tonalites whose pitch is determined by the room’s dimensions and resonance properties. The music is meant to excite room resonances and thus achieve the sonification of architectural spaces. Several exhibition catalogs with CDs were published about Fähndrich’s Musik für Räume, so it is possible the music on this cassette has already been digitized and made available.
♫ Published in 1985 by Edition Giannozzo, this cassette was the first to document Musik für Räume as a standalone soundtrack. Founded in 1978 by sculptor and musician Rolf Langebartels, Galerie Giannozzo was a two-storey gallery in Berlin Charlottenburg, with monthly exhibitions by artists like Rolf Julius, Takehisa Kosugi, Akio Suzuki or Christina Kubisch, until it closed doors in 1986. On show in the gallery during November 1985, Fähndrich’s sound installation consisted in the sonification of both storeys with sounds deduced from the galleries’ proportions. For instance, and if I understand the liner notes correctily, the upper room’s length of 720 cm corresponds to a frequency of 47.6 Hz. Of course, these electronic sounds are meant to be heard in the Giannozzo gallery only, but, on their own, they function as a wonderful musique d’ameublement, or discreet music in English.
01 Räume Giannozzo VI (23:28)
02 Räume Giannozzo VII (23:28)
Total time 46:56
Cassette released by Edition Giannozzo, Berlin, 1985