Music Reviews

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Artist: John Kannenberg (@)
Title: A Sound Map of the Art Institute of Chicago
Format: CD
Label: 3Leaves (@)
Rated: *****
While I was having a tour with a friend inside Museum Fur Modern Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany, after getting hell-bented on visiting temporary exhibition by outside glacial winds more than its introduction, I noticed a dust-up nearby a sort of tube with no description of exhibiting artist so that I apprised security that someone could have left some rubbish. You can imagine my amused astonishment when the well-built woman in a faded grey suit haughtily replied "Das ist Kunst!" (That's art!)... That sketch was so fun to me that I thought that it could be recorded to share the fun with friends. I don't think this release came froma similar experience, but it's really interesting anyway. Following a conceptually similar sound mapping of Egyptian Museum in Cairo, John Kannenberg assembled an interesting sound map of the Art Institute of Chicago, which become the largest museum in the United States after the addition of Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing, by means of an Olympus LS-10. The idea behind its field recording is what John refers to s "the active sounds of history", where contemproary visitors interact with "authentic historical objects to create new sonic contexts", but its path follows a concept which is completely different by interactive digital as it's not linear, but rather chaotic. The 52 sketches that John assembled to render his personal tour inside Chicago Art Institue could be considered a proper memory map as it doesn't really follows a prearranged route, even if it departs from the recording of bucket drummers outside the museum on Michigan Avenue and ends with the sounds he grabbed while walking from Modern Wing Ground Floor bookstore to street exit and such a personal cut can be easily grasped by the inclusion of "ordinary" moments such as alarm sounds, crowd disembarking from elevators, maintenance workers, conversations as well as personal clues such as footsteps or slap on the wrist by security guards which could sound peculiar or somehow bizarre in that specific context.



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