Workshop BLAUES RAUSCHEN // Water in the Town


"BLAUES RAUSCHEN” (blue noise) is a festival of experimental electronic music, performance and installation. From 10-14th October 2018 it will be held in Gelsenkirchen, Essen, Herne, Dortmund and Bochum and sees itself as a connecting element in the polycentric urban region of the Ruhr area. As part of the festival, a multi-day workshop for young people will take place, which aims to establish a connection between everyday perception and artistic processing.


Rustling, bubbling, babbling: the detection of “the sound of water in the city" seeks to shed light on the complex role of this element in the zone between the Emscher and the Ruhr both historically and for the future. Named after the river in the south, the Ruhr, the "area" is at least as strongly marked by the water vein in the northern district, the Emscher, which represents the water-economic backbone of the region with its more than 80 inflowing streams and canals. Since 1998, the existing sewer has been transformed from a unique European dimension into a nature-like river, thus gaining an ecological significance that makes a not inconsiderable part of the structural changes in the Ruhr area clearer.

The local inhabitants meet these rivers, canals and streams in front of their doors almost every day. And of course, water plays a permanent role in everyday life. But the multifunctionality of this element between supply and waste disposal, due to its apparent "abundance", rarely gets into the public eye. Water is the focus of many questions:
- What happens after the collapse of the mines with the poisonous mine water?
- A renatured Emscher - where is the sewage?
- Drinking water: from the line or from the bottle?
- Increasing heavy rainfall events and other consequences of climate change pose new challenges for the area.

Facing this diversity of questions, this sound art workshop aims to stimulate and promote the participants' critical and creative engagement concerning their living environment and especially water. The media artist and musician Tina Tonagel will search, explore and record everyday and special sound situations around the water together with young people.

Equipped with conventional smartphones as a recording device, the participants search for acoustic traces of the element "water" and record them. Photos taken during the recording process visually complement sound research. In addition, they are free to use sound material from the archive of www.emscherplayer, de. The results of this so-called "field recording" serve as the basis for short sound collages or compositions and a series of multimedia installations that are developed by the young people and premiered in front of an audience during the festival.

Method: Field recording - increasingly popular among music and media professionals (sound recordings outside of studios situations) - involves the conscious search for significant sounds and the creation of an inner relationship between sender, signal and recording. The result is noise recordings, conversation clippings, samples and loops. The resulting thematic composition and its visual realization in an installative context allow the audience new listening experiences and an artistic-reflective approach to an everyday topic.

Technique: With their smartphones as natural life companions, the participants wear - often unconsciously - a highly developed recording device, which is now used for interviews, sound recordings, sound collages and also as a sound-shaping instrument.

With the help of the Arduino physical computing platform, sound-artist and tutor Tina Tonagel enables the participants to develop analogue sensors and switches to control motors, light and sound. With simple means and without much programming knowledge so kinetic, interactive works of art can be developed. The recorded sound samples can also be specifically controlled, for example via proximity sensors or built-in switches or else as an endless loop.

Depending on their interests, the adolescents develop their own works - it is up to their creativity and their imagination whether bumpy motor-driven noise machines with deafening waterfall sounds are created or elegant photo collages accompanied by discreet splashing.