soundscape installation: Bhu!

2009 The soundscape installation/artistic research project: Bhu !

(buan, bin, building , ik ben (Dutch: I am), wuon, wunian, wonen (Dutch: to dwell), I live in the neighbourhood.

             referring to the essay of M. Heidegger: “building, dwellling, thinking”.

Bhu! was presented as “tactile sonic intervention” in the artist project- space Retort in the south of Amsterdam as part of the “Shared Walls” group exhibition, with touchable soundscapes and sound stories of neighbours about the meaning  of  “feeling at home” in relation with the sounds and soundscapes at home and in their neigbourhood.

Visitors and neighbours could hear to and feel the soundscape stories through the glass outside on the street at the window of the project space and inside.

When touching the “red woollen sound objects” inside the project space the public could hear and feel the sounds and voices of the storytellers in a direct and intimate way. It triggered talks about: personal sound memories of home sounds in the past, soundscapes in the neighbourhood, changing city soundscapes, soundspaces, listening habits, sound memories of the parental home and about their own sound perspectives, their own experienced  “multi sensorial hearing perspective” (read more)

2010   I gave a lecture about the soundscape installation / artistic research project Bhu! and about the “multi sensorial hearing perspective” on the SoundActs conference,  Aarhus University in Denmark.    


       Thanks to a grant of the CLUE research institute for heritage of the VU Amsterdam.

Bhu!you hear stereo; orginal multi channel   

translation:  (some of the reactions)

Mother with child:  “Coming home for me, when it’s getting colder, is when I put on the central heating system and it is starting ticking. Than I have really the feeling I’m coming home, my house is warming up and I’m going to drink a cup of tea.  That’s for me really being at home.”

Older woman: “The sounds that I don’t like in this neighbourhood, in principle, are the sounds of the tram station, just across the street where I ‘m living: It’s a crunching sound; But slowly I start to appreciate it, that crunching sound in the middle of the night, and the thing that you know what it is, that gives me joy!. You know the sound and you can connect other meanings to it than only hear it as something that’s annoying. Yes I like that sound also!”   “So now you can go upstairs with me, walking on the first floor, than you can hear the cracking sound of the old wooden floor.”

Older man:  “Being at home for me is connected with the walking of the neighbours above me I hear sometimes, opening your garden door and having contact with my neighbours, talking, cars passing by. That belongs to my living surroundings. It are the sounds I got used to and they belong to my being at home:  People walking along, that’s the atmosphere I experience when being at home”

Women with child: When I’m sitting here (in my living room) I always hear the cars on the Aalsmeer road. I always hear it immediately when there is a traffic jam on the Aalsmeer road. The sound of the traffic jam is really a different sound; but the sound of driving cars passing by is a really calming sound, it’s like the sound of calm sea with little waves, that’s always there. It’s the sound that belongs here”