A Sound Map of the Danube River

This installation took place at the 3LD Technology Center in New York City as an event in the Ear to the Earth Festival 2006.


Annea Lockwood at Géderlak, Hungary
Photo by Ruth Anderson

Recording in the Danube delta


The artist writes:

From recordings of eighty sites along the Danube from its sources in the Schwarzwald to the delta at the Black Sea, I have made a Sound Map of the river, a continuously-running aural tracing of it, interleaved with the memories and reflections of people living on the river (in their native languages), forming a parallel flow of languages and of relationship with the river.

These recordings form a surround-sound work almost three hours long. A large wall map (3’ x 6’) shows the sites recorded, the date and time of day of the recording, thus indicating seasonal changes, and also the time within the duration of the work at which each site can be heard, e.g.

        22 site number
        0:49:20 to be heard at
        Oberkienstock (underwater) location
        May 4 2004, 11:37am the date and time it was recoeded

A time display next to the map displays the current playback time.

I have recorded both at the river’s surface and underwater, capturing a wide array of water, human and other sounds from the river environment. Mixed into these are the voices of those I have interviewed: fishermen, artists, a river pilot, a shipping agent, a delta guide and others. A book of these interviews, translated into English, is placed near the map for visitors to read. Stones which I have collected from the riverbed all along the river, are arranged nearby. Handling them gives visitors direct, tactile contact with the river’s geological nature.

In April 2005, A Sound Map of the Danube was premiered in the Donau Festival at Krems an der Donau, presented by the Zentrum für zeitgenössische Musik of the Donau-Universität Krems, in cooperation with Klangraum Krems.