Unknown objects glide by your head
Some of them seem to speak to you
It’s a language you’ve never heard
It builds a resonance
Like a rush of air before the rain
The shape of the words holds a promise
And you feel it’s you moving
Each object leaves an atmospheric swirl in the air in front of you
As the light from the cars shines thru that swirl, numbers appear
Eighty-seven, one hundred and nine, 4 - 4 - 2
It’s all familiar to you
You can feel the pressure building
Not to go deeper
But to slide faster on the surface
All these hints show you there’s so much underneath
You’ll never know
One one six seven three nine two eight five
A round thing sparks
Resolves itself into a stoplight… red
And inside the red, the sparkling LEDs are talking to you
You move closer
Six two five nine seven
Six two five nine seven
One 0 one one 0 three two five nine
It’s that language
Grabbing your attention
Grabbing everything you’ve ever known
To try to shape it into a new bundle
You’re walking there
On the road
And you’re an old bundle of oxygen…
The A100 is not just an infrastructural system occupying expanses of urban space, it is also a city-building force with massive physical, media and political presence. It generates a pulse of city life. It exerts influence over Berlin’s identity as a symbol of progress, of self-promotion and representation, while also being a reviled object, a disruptive element, and an art space.
City is sound, composed from myriad voices of everyday life. All of our listening space is dominated by the ubiquitous sound emissions of motorized traffic, which also mask numerous other sound events. Engine and vehicle sounds, paced and regulated by routings and traffic lights, resonate in an architectural space which amplifies, filters, and cuts them. This leads to an environment sonically annexed and coloured. A condition that we mostly leave unchallenged, take as given, and block from our awareness. At best, we comprehend it as a noise to be avoided, without further reflecting on the causal relationships with behaviors that engender it.
For over ten years, TAMTAM (Sam Auinger & Hannes Strobl) have pursued artistic research into urban living spaces. TAMTAM’s main concern is sonic experience of the city, along with the cultural development of particular places. The last two years they have explored the A100 Berlin city highway and its immediate environment through focused investigations, recording selected locations in audio and image. Their main interest was its various spatial and temporal qualities, its rhythm, and how it sonically organizes, emotionalises and influences surrounding space.
After many hours hearing the A100
It makes the city pulse
Coloured in greys
An object with:
characteristics + dynamics
seasons + routines
rushes + accidents
It divides, builds boundaries, occupies territory.
It is two-faced and multi-directional.
It dreams, arranges, progresses.
It enables and connects.
It is massive. It is experience.
It screams. It erases.
Composed of unwalkable expanses.
Hear it roar and roar and roar...
released March 31, 2020
Sam Auinger: Electronic, Field Recording
Hannes Strobl: Electric Bass, Electric Upright Bass, Field Recording
David Moss: Lyrics and Voice on “Standby”
A totally absorbing album, I love how the subtleties and intricacies grab and hold your attention. Melodies and rhythms weave around drone and noise elements which themselves have great movement. Field recordings add tension, at times there's a mechanical feel yet each song also feels like an unfolding story that you are a part of. Andrulian