Living in Berlin since 2002, Gilles Aubry spent the winter of 2006 recording backyards of the city, originally intending to explore the resonant frequencies of these spaces wich coloured the different sound sources as natural effects processors. He later became more aware of their function as spaces that stayed in between the public and the private sphere, spaces of neighbouring interaction and social control, a sort of negative architecture that hosted vital technical equipments to the buildings and the city itself — ventilation, trash and recycling containers, electric power stations, etc.
These almost organic functions of the city — breathing, digestion and excretion — the near invisibility of the inhabitants, the cycles and variations in lighting, sound, smell and mood over the day and the presence of wild life in the middle of the city, started modifying his perception of space and architecture. The houses were becoming bodies or machines, almost beings, each with its own presence and voice.
Berlin Backyards reconstructs these environmental recordings in eight movements of a musique concrète piece that presents a subjective view of these voices — der Gesang der Gebäude — and of Aubry’s experience in a composition that is much more than a mere acoustic representation of the spaces themselves.
released September 2, 2008
All recordings made during the winter of 2006 in Berlin.
Cover photos by Gilles Aubry.
Design by Gilles Aubry, Raphaël Cuomo and MCarvalhais.
Mastered by MCarvalhais.