SOUND EXCHANGE. Enclaves of experimental music culture in Central Eastern Europe

A trans-regional music project in and between Budapest, Bratislava, Prague, Krakow, Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn and Chemnitz

October 2011 – December 2012


Central Eastern Europe boasts a lively, internationally networked scene of musicians and artists, festivals and local centers of experimental media-based music and audio arts. But in each country’s culture of memory, local compositional or artistic sound traditions play a relatively small role. This is a result of the exclusion of experimental techniques during the region’s socialist period, followed by the promotion of globally used digital practices after 1990, while barely giving local identity its due.

In result the younger generation of musicians is very often more focussed on the ‘west’ with relatively less connection to local traditions and a drastically under-informed international music community.

This working thesis was developed by musicologist Golo Föllmer of Halle, Germany, following more than half a year of research in seven Central Eastern European countries. He carried out his on-site research in Budapest, Bratislava, Prague, Krakow, Riga, Vilnius and Tallinn in 2010 on the invitation of the Goethe-Institut. He came away with numerous contacts to diverse representatives of respective national musical cultures. The research generated two projects or project ideas that seek historical roots and contemporary connections within and between these countries, on the theoretical and practical levels. By the autumn of 2011, the theoretical evaluation will be published as a ca. 400-page book, funded in part through the Goethe-Institut and the University of Halle.

The modular Festival Project Sound Exchange is designed essentially to bring together the results of these and more far-reaching research through concerts / performances/ installations and workshops on a bilateral level, in close cooperation with the Goethe-Institut and with local curators and institutions. In 2011 and 2012, in a total of eight locations, the public will be able to experience the disclosure and musical-artistic “negotiation” of lines of tradition in national experimental musical culture in their current states, and in their overlappings between the countries of Central Eastern Europe. This will launch a discussion about experimental music in Central Eastern Europe, a process of sharing and getting to know relatively unknown and interesting musical positions. And these are primarily individual positions that, however, may actually represent local movements, which in their diversity reflect a broad stylistic and aesthetic range in the participating eight countries.

More informations: http://www.soundexchange.eu

Artistic Direction: Carsten Seiffarth, Carsten Stabenow, advisor: Golo Föllmer.

Co-Curators: Marek Choloniewski (PL), Slavo Krekovic (SK), Aivar Tonso (EST), Antanas Jasenka (LT), Zsolt Sörés (HU), Viestarts Gailitis (LV), Milos Vojtechovsky (CZ) and Andreas Winkler (GER). Production: Markus Steffens, Florian Wachinger

Sound Exchange is a project by DOCK e.V. and the Goethe-Institut.

Supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.