"Zum Bahnhof zur Stadt"
Technique: pink noise, amplifier, speakers
June 6–July 6, 2008
"Zum Bahnhof zur Stadt" (to the train station to the city) follows a
similair line of thinking as my work "Triemli Passage," where through
the use of a continuously generated sound I try to accentuate and
perhaps even also subvert the inherent sound environment of a space. In
this case I worked with a room beneath the train station in the Swiss
city of Aarau.
Unlike with "Triemli Passage," where the given space (a pedestrian
underpass) was comparitively quiet, this space under the Aarau train
station was rather loud and, at time, even raucous, with teenagers
taking their lunch break nearby and groups of men drinking beer at
tables placed in front of a small store. There was also a bakery, a
magazine shop and the normal array of sounds one would associate with a
train station: namely, the trains passing in and out of the station
overhead. Several generators and large fans mounted in various recesses
of the space going on at random intervals added the final touch.
After much trial and error I decided on a steady stream of pink noise
issued from two speakers mounted inside the top of a large glass
display case. Lit from inside by bright flourescent tubes the case
became a glowing sound object, glowing like a solid block of noise.
The pink noise itself I generated at a volume just below the normal
sound level of the space. I returned at many times during the day
(during peak commuter surges to late afternoon lulls) to find the right
balance. At times the noise was clearly audible, at others easily
subsumed in the din of the existing environment.