The Place of Whispers

While we were at Lucerne preparing for a performance of Berio’s Coro with the Lucerne Festival Academy Choir, Orchestra, and Sir Simon Rattle, a beautiful installation was opened at the Kunstmuseum Luzerne.

Designed by David Bithell, The Place of Whispers is a series of five wood and metal sculptures that record their surrounding sounds. Viewers are asked to whisper dreams, hopes, wishes, things that would normally remain unvoiced, to the sculptures.

These sounds are mixed together using generative processes and are layered with field recordings from around Luzern made by the artist throughout the duration of the installation. Each of the sculptures is autonomous but communicates with the other sculptures to create a large scale, immersive, and responsive sound environment – an ever-evolving landscape of the sonic psyche of Luzern.

While on display, there were also opportunities for live performances and more musical interactions with the sculptures. I participated in one of those events, and it was quite an experience! A sound excerpt from the evening’s performance can be found here, and images can be seen here.