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workspace for experimental music and sound art
Maria Balabas & Mihai Balabas
08/05/2014 - 25/05/2014

Which are the elements that create for a tourist the sonorous specificity of the city of Brussels? Can one perceive an urban rhythm and the fluid relations between the city and its inhabitants? Are the balances between the intensities of sounds – as they reverb in the city – signs of our unconscious life as modern urban personalities? How are the European political ideas reflected in the sounds of the city? Which is a possible psychological significance hidden behind an aural map of the city?

These are just a few questions that took me, Maria, on the way to imagine a series of soundscapes dedicated to Brussels, trying to capture the aural specificity of the city. The next thing was to imagine those compositions as dedicated to the traditional meaningful moments of the day – morning, mid-day, evening, night – each being a metaphor for the richness or poorness of our imagination and trying to depict the influence the big urban spaces have upon the human condition.

As far as I remember (I’ve visited Brussels a couple of times), with its paradoxical social worlds living altogether, Brussels is a good place for such a study and inspires one to search more about its inner life. I also remember a sound which for me, at that moment, transformed itself in a metaphor of the city: during the night, when the traffic was low, in the district near the European Union buildings, one could hear very clear a contrapuntal sound-presence. The alarms on the streetlights that announce the blind persons when to cross, built a mechanical rhythmicity and became part of the aural-image of the city by night. A sound construction derived from social politics, determining a specific perception of time, Brussels, sound-utility and poetic meaning. A hearable voice of the unconscious, either of a person or of the urban space itself and another one – of a sensible and impulsive critic of the reality.

The four soundscapes will go from intimate feelings to large sonorities, will feature voices and fragmented stories merged into industrial and mechanical atmospheres etc. We – Maria and Mihai Balabas – will use field recordings done in Brussels during the time of the residency; the artistic process will take use to processing the recordings, giving them musical narativity. The sound-structure will be completed with voices (text and melodic lines) and musical-instrumental layers.

Sebastian Dingens - WALKS
Pavel Tchikov 29/11/23
Nika Son - Scatter

Q-O2 is supported by the Flemish Community, VGC and the European Union
Koolmijnenkaai 30-34
B-1080 Brussels