What did I tell you about “Sprach(t)räume”?
– a three-dimensional paraphrase about radio production
Sprachträume – an endlessly woven ribbon -.


eight-channel spatial sound composition

Speakers: Isabel Navarro, Gisela Saur-Kontarski, Thomas Kraus,
Steffen Laube, Egdar M. Böhlke and Gregor Höppner
direction, composition, spatial sound control: Sabine Schäfer

WDR Studio Acoustic Art 1997

The space-sound composition WAS ERZÄHLTE ICH ÜBER SPRACH(T)RÄUME? was premiered in 1997 on the occasion of the 5th Acustica International in the context of the MusikTriennale Cologne and is a three-dimensional paraphrase on the radiophonic sound composition SPRACH(T)RÄUME – EIN ENDLOS GEFLOCHTENES BAND, which the artist produced in 1996 for the Studio Akustische Kunst of the WDR Cologne.

The human voice, which has a formative effect in the most diverse ways – from the sound of breathing to the spoken word – shapes the character of the individual sound scenes. The scenes alternate erratically and, as in a dream, the sonic state changes suddenly and unstoppably. Like a kaleidoscope, the text fragments, vocal gestures and characters that appear constantly form new patterns and are illuminated differently by their changing context.
The texts used come from the fields of philosophy, poetry and media theory (“Alice Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll / “What the Tortoise said to Achilles” from “Gödel, Escher, Bach” by Douglas R. Hofstadter / “Mille Plateaux” by Deleuze/Guattari). They deal with paradoxes of logic and dream and represent on the semantic level the complexities and contradictions that open up for the human being who wants to comprehend and understand the world in logical consistency.

WAS ERZÄHLTE ICH ÜBER SPRACH(T)RÄUME? belongs to a series of works of spatial sound installations that emerged from the spatial sound art project TOPOPHONIEN. Within the framework of this project Sabine Schäfer developed from 1990 to 1992, together with Sukandar Kartadinata (system design), a spatial sound control system with which sound can be moved in space in a real, three-dimensional way. Thereby the sound movement enters as an equal parameter in the composition.

In this space-sound composition, too, a separate “choreography” was worked out and programmed for each of the individual sound scenes. Through the eight-member loudspeaker ensemble grouped around the audience, the listener finds himself in the middle of the sound event. The sounds themselves become the actors of this space-sound performance through their real movements.

WDR Programm What did I tell you about “Sprach(t)räume”?