BINAURAL DRAMA. Switzerland - Silence
Production Company : Idee und Klang Audio Design. Author: Bettina Mittelstra▀. Producers: Jascha Dormann, Bettina Mittelstra▀. Director: Bettina Mittelstra▀, Jascha Dormann. Sound engineer: Jascha Dormann.
Silence is defined by the absence of sound. The search for a place where stillness may be experienced, however, becomes difficult: stillness is holding sway only in outer space - yet even there the astronaut is hearing his own breaths. What then, is silence? Does it exist at all? Silence is one of the most elementary and most sensual experiences man is able to undergo. Anyone who has ever sat in a completely sound-proofed room knows about the brute power inherent in silence.
Silence is subjective: While the quiet ticking of a wall clock may serve as a soothing sleeping aid to someone, it may rob somebody else of his sleep all night long. Silence is but tangible in contrast to sound: We are only able to experience an environment to be quiet, when we check it against a setting that is less silent. Whoever wants to speak about silence, can only do so with the vocabulary of sound.
These insights formed the pillars of both the concept and the design of the exhibition Sounds of Silence which we created for Museum of Communication Bern in 2018. The dramaturgy hinged entirely on sound. Written text was completely done without; exhibits, photographs and videos were but sporadically represented.
Sound became the key player: by means of the so-called Binaural Sound Technology together with interactive programming, we built a three-dimensional soundscape in the exhibition space. While the methods of implementation were akin to modern computer games, where the visitor becomes the protagonist, the genre of the radio feature served as a great source of stylistic inspiration.
Now we're going full circle: In a remix process of sorts, the exhibition author Bettina Mittelstra▀ and our own Jascha Dormann who led the sound creation for the exhibition, have reinterpreted Sounds of Silence in the form of a one-hour binaural radio feature. They have combined both new sounds as well as material from the exhibition. The feature was broadcast in June 2019 on Swiss National Radio SRF.
English text (click)