SHADOWS ARE ONLY TWO-DIMENSIONAL (2021)
audiovisual composition - 4 minutes
will they wander the lands,
dispersed and lost
them acoustic shadows
One of my favourite working methods is to start with a title or a sentence that I like and see where I end up with it. This also applied to SHADOWS ARE ONLY TWO-DIMENSIONAL. I read a variation of this phrase somewhere in a text, and it stuck with me. I was curious to see what can be seen as shadows in a sonic context and started reading about topics such as acoustic shadows, their scientific explanation, and what in Dutch is called bijgeluiden (which translates quite unfortunately as noise). I found out that the phenomenon of acoustic shadows had implications in the U.S. Civil War and influenced the outcome of some battles, such as the one called Seven Pines, and how buildings and other big objects can work as a kind of low-pass filter for ears located further away. These readings became the basis for this composition.
The audio draws its sounds from field recordings of "unwanted" extra noises, like the rattling of cutlery standing on top of a washing machine or the release of air from my water bottle. They slowly become more filtered, as if a bigger and bigger object moves before them (like an acoustic eclipse).
The video materials come from recordings at the Niendorfer Gehege (forest) in Hamburg and refer to the battle of Seven Pines, where many lives were lost partly due to the acoustic shadows that covered up battle sounds and therefore did not alarm nearby troops to come help out.
In 2021, many concerts were moved to the online sphere. SHADOWS ARE ONLY TWO-DIMENSIONAL is one of the pieces that was specifically thought to be part of a video reel with many other works by other composers. I decided to keep the length to a minimum and mix the piece for earphones and smartphone speakers. Its premiere happened in May 2021, during the video reel Lightwerk. The piece was also included in the Performing Media Festival in South Bend, Indiana, in February 2022; featured on Radio Orsimanirana in June 2021; and was part of the opening exhibition of the fellows in Künstlerhaus Lauenburg/Stadtgalerie in June 2022.