Friday, November 19, 2010

9th meething, Wednesday, November 24th

MOKS presents:
John Grzinich's film Sound Aspects of Material Elements
Wednesday, November 24th, 6-8pm
Eesti Rahva Muuseum, Tartu

The 9th meeting of helikoosolek:tartu will feature the Estonian premiere of John Grzinich's film Sound Aspects of Material Elements.

The film is based on sound recordings made in Estonia and Portugal from 2006-2009. It shows a specific approach to the artistic use of sound, documenting a 3 year in-situ process of sonification, of exploring interactions between natural and man-made environments implementing numerous found objects in the context of landscapes and abandoned structures. The film employs a minimal editing style and durational shots, shifting our attention toward and extended view of time and place, of the ever changing micro-processes that hint to eternal growth and decay inherent to cycles of nature itself. The possibilities to intercept, shape, disrupt, recombine and capture the elements  through creative experiments is what this film illustrates in the interest that it may inspire the viewer to listen in new way.

Sound Aspects of Material Elements reveals how our sense of hearing can use non-linguistic signals to communicate, interpret and build relations to the world around us. Using sound as the primary signifier, the film shows a specific approach to the artistic use of sound, covering a 3 year period of the authors personal research and collaborations with a number of close colleagues. The film documents in-situ processes of exploration and sonification of the landscape along with the numerous objects and structures found there.

All the sound recordings emphasize how the combinations of certain materials (metal, wood, glass) with natural elements (water, wind fire), take on alchemical characteristics as we listen in. We experience aeolian metal wires in the wind, structures affected by fire, water, snow and the casual effects of human interventions in insect worlds. The sonic outcomes can be subtle and sometimes below our common perception so a variety of experimental recording techniques were employed. Contact microphones are placed on surfaces shifting our attention toward the internal resonances of the materials themselves while mini microphones reveal spaces normally inaccessible by our ears. What we hear is what we see, yet is sometimes translated through amplified means.

With its minimal editing style and durational shots, Sound Aspects of Material Elementsshifts our attention toward and extended view of time and place, of the ever changing micro-processes that hint to eternal growth and decay inherent to cycles of nature itself. The possibilities to intercept, shape, disrupt, recombine and capture the elements through creative experiments is what this film attempts to illustrate in the interest that it may inspire the viewer to listen in new way.

helikoosolek:tartu is organised my MoKS and supported by Eesti Rahva Muuseum, Tartu Linnavalitsus, and Eesti Kultuurkapital.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

8th meeting report

For our 8th meeting we explored the Eesti Rahva Muuseum itself, experimenting with the building's sonic spaces, structures and architecture. After some initial group exercises in our usual meeting room (using the room's most prolific item: it's chairs) we broke into smaller groups for individual exploration of the building, culminating in two performances:

Our first space was the museum's coatroom; usually covered in coats, it's structure was already altered at this time of the evening by being completely bare, revealing the hollow metallic skeleton of the racks themselves. We found each hook to have it's own resonance when struck or bowed, and the hooks' numbering system (meant to help you find your coat among many) proved to be a convenient way to locate specific points and repeat resonant forms.

The second space was the small staircase area next to the bar - a varied palette of sounds came from the rotating bar stools, the staircase railing, and the museum's Finno-Ugric language display, representing each language within the Finno-Ugric group by a disc sized proportionally to the language's number of native speakers. Each disc, of course, proved to have its own distinct sound.

We finished our meeting by watching some video material of site-specific actions in Estonia and Latvia. For more information on the revenant:sound project that inspired this workshop, see

Thursday, October 21, 2010

8th meeting, Wednesday, October 27th

MoKS presents:
revenant:tartu, with Patrick McGinley
Wednesday, October 27th
Eesti Rahva Muuseum, Tartu

revenant:tartu - site specific soundscape explorations

The 8th edition of helikoosolek:tartu will be led by its regular moderator Patrick McGinley as an exploration of group actions within specific spaces. The group will explore concepts of active participation within a space's soundscape through a series of games, exercises and improvisations in various spaces within the Eesti Rahva Muuseum itself, experimenting with materials, shapes, resonances, surfaces, distances, and micro and macro sound events, towards a series a private group 'performances' to happen around the building. All sounds will originate from materials found in-situ, and from interactions with the space itself, and no artificial amplification will be used.

McGinley will also present a series of short audio and video recordings dealing with the same topic, from the collected activities of revenant:sound, an ongoing project with open membership that focuses on site-specific acoustic actions.

helikoosolek:tartu is organised my MoKS and supported by Eesti Rahva Muuseum, Tartu Linnavalitsus, and Eesti Kultuurkapital.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

7th meeting report

Thanks to Natalia for preparing yet another workshop. This one being very condensed also made people focused. In just 2 short hours we created a whole ensemble of low power circuits. Most of us even managed to get a fairly diverse range of sounds by connecting the free leads to different materials and the circuits of our neighbors. After a short while its hard to know why the circuit is doing what its doing and how to control it. All good fun.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

7th meeting, Wednesday, September 29th

MoKS presents:
with Natalia Borissova
Wednesday, September 29th
Eesti Rahva Muuseum, Tartu

This edition of helikoosolek:tartu will feature a visit from current MoKS resident artist Natalia Borissova, who will give a 'Hands-on (your neighbor)' workshop with audio amplifiers adapted into homemade 'crackle' devices - simple, but expressive interactive instruments. The human body and any conductive matters become part of an electric circuit (or the other way around) and determine the range of sounds possible.

Everything conductive found in a room, including the bare skin of your neighbour, can be wired and played in a short collective sonic cross-performance, after building our own 'crackle'-circuits and figuring out what/who is conductive and why. Eight circuits can be temporarily constructed and played collaboratively. All parts will be provided, but please bring a 9V battery.

Nata(lia)sha Borissova is Moscow born, Munich/Berlin-based media artist/organizer working with (s)low-tech in a DIY, explorative, and process-related way. Since 1995 she has been experimenting with visual media while living in Moscow, Berlin, Stuttgart, Buffalo, NY and Munich. She has spent some time as a visiting professor, lecturing on Motion imaging, at New York State University/Buffalo (SUNY), and has been selected for several grants and artists' residencies in Europe. Since 2006 she has been independently running - a migrating workshop-zone for informal audiovisual education and experimentation, trying to keep both change and continuity in setting up creative workshops, as well as instigating those self-(de)constructivist, experiment-based, temporal norms-forms abandoning situations. Gradually her main interest is shifting from motion to stillness, from showing to looking, from hearing to listening, from art to life, from life to... the dead frog.

helikoosolek:tartu is organised my MoKS and supported by Eesti Rahva Muuseum, Tartu Linnavalitsus, and Eesti Kultuurkapital.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

6th meeting report

Some nice discussion generated by the work of Yiorgis Sakellariou this month, including questions of field-recording in live performance - is there a conceptual or preferential difference between live software processing and simple listening session playback? We had both in this edition - Yiorgis played a live set using field-recordings made in and around the small greek village from which his family originates (with a few recent recordings from Tallinn thrown in for good measure), and also played us a few long duration untreated recordings from the same location, including one stunning recording of the mournful funeral bells of the village church (where he was recently offered the job of village priest, apparently).  We moved this meeting to the floor this time around, borrowed some filled hemp sack cushions from the museum's exhibition, making the room a bit more comfortable.

Next month we'll have a visit from MoKS current artist in residence, Natalia Borissova.  Stay tuned for more details.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

6th meeting, Wednesday, August 25th

MoKS presents:
Mecha/Orga, with Yiorgis Sakellariou
Wednesday, August 25th
Eesti Rahva Muuseum, Tartu

This edition of helikoosolek:tartu features a visit from Greek artist Yiorgis Sakellariou.

Yiorgis Sakellariou is involved with the contemporary and experimental music scene in Greece through his CD-R label “Echo Music”, and as a member of the Contemporary Music Research Centre, and the Hellenic Electroacoustic Music Composers Association. He is also a participant in the Ear to the Earth organization and he has composed music for film and theatre plays. Yiorgis recently spent a month in the village of Abeliona, in the region of Peloponnesus, in Greece. During that time he made a series of field recordings, including thunderstorms, funeral church bells and used the  material to compose an album.

Mecha/Orga is the project and recording name of Yiorgis Sakellariou. Since 2003, 2 CDs and 5 CD-Rs have been released and Mecha/Orga has been presented live in Greece, The Netherlands, the U.K., France, Belgium, Germany, Russia and Switzerland. Mecha/Orga’s music and performances are mostly based on field recordings (from passing trains to waterfalls and from refrigerator drones to desert winds), which are filtered and mixed in real time, with the use of a laptop.

During this edition of helikoosolek:tartu we will have a performance/listening session, and Yiorgis will lead a question/answer session and discussion based on his work. Participants are encouraged also to bring any field recordings of their own that the group can listen to and discuss.

For more information on Yiorgis' work, please see:

helikoosolek:tartu is organised by MoKS and supported by Eesti Rahva
Muuseum, Tartu Linnavalitsus and Eesti Kultuurkapital.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

5th meeting report

Many thanks to Marko Kosnik for joining us yesterday at the helikoosolek. We explored ideas of corporeal (or individual physical) tunings, running through a series of vocal exercises as a way of seeking the individual resonant frequencies within our own bodies, and discussing the inherent inconsistencies of institutional forced matched tunings on bodies that are intrinsically different.  We recorded our vocal experiments, including collective vocal exercises in which each participant had ears covered, in order to concentrate specifically on 'singing in'.  we will be posting samples from some of these recordings, as well as a few images, shortly.

We are also looking for ideas from the community for upcoming helikoosolek editions. If you have an idea for an activity, workshop, exploration or presentation, let us know! The next meeting will be Wednesday, August 25th; stay tuned for details! And for our participants: comments are open below; please let us know if you what you thought!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

5th meeting, wednesday, july 28th

MoKS presents:
Corporeal Bioacoustics, with Marko Kosnik
Wednesday, July 28
Eesti Rahva Muuseum, Tartu

a journey into corporeal bioacoustics / some practical exercises for the social bodies of self tuned individuals / by marko kosnik

This edition of helikoosolek:tartu features a visit from Slovenian artist, and current resident at MoKS, Marko Kosnik.

In the common practice of singing we are used to refer to a generally accepted tuning system and musical scales, which enable us to orchestrate, harmonize, transpose and modulate musical phrasing in collective situation. There are different kinds of absolute and relative tunings found around the globe, based on variety of cultural traditions. The references for tuning might depend on instruments in use, surrounding acoustics, commodity of singers, ...

As humans we have our own very specific acoustics at hand, that of our own body. by attentive listening to the resonant volumes of our own bodies while singing, we can conduct vibratory experiences which lead to tuning based on individual bioacoustic properties.

There are sets of experiences to enjoy when self tuned individuals enter the choir situation. the aim of the workshop is to evoke and introduce these kind of experiences in a participatory situation.

Marko Kosnik (Slovenia), polymedia artist, started his carrier in 80's as collaborator with many alternative groups (Junajtit Adis, Laibach, Cavis Negra, Most). Since the beginning of his collaborative projects he was producing creative environments, open labs and media platforms, dealing with synchronisation of authors from different backgrounds and self organisation. Crossing from acoustic studies of subterranean Karst to performances and installations with sonorostatics (electro acoustic plates) he initiated his own productions in the frame of Egon March Institute, and started building interactive environments in 1993. Kosnik acts as performer, installation artist, producer and video instrumentalist. In the span of 24 years he connected over 30 international artists in research and productions of Egon March Institute worldwide.

helikoosolek:tartu is organised by MoKS and supported by Eesti Rahva Muuseum, Tartu Linnavalitsus and Eesti Kultuurkapital.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

4th meeting report

Thanks to everyone who came out for the soundwalk. We had a group of about 12 participants with many new faces. I spent the previous afternoon planning out a simple route to walk starting from the museum. The general strategy was to focus on passing through different sound environments and to see how far the group would realistically walk in 30 minutes. While most of what I planned happened, there were some nice surprises. The main "catch" to this soundwalk was that the group divided into pairs with one person being a guide while their partner was blindfolded. After half the walk the pair would switch roles. What I didn't expect was how freely the guides interpreted their roles. Immediately many of the guides chose to highlight the tactile environment as much as (if not more than) the sonic environment. While "leading" the group I often turned around to find blindfolded people touching trees, buildings and other objects along the way. Thee were also a few situational surprises like the fellow practicing his martial art in Toomamägi park eventually finding himself surrounded by our group. None of the blindfolded people knew what they were listening to until they opened their eyes. Overall it seemed to be a sensory heightening experience for most, something a few said, they would like to try again in their own way.

Friday, June 18, 2010

4th meeting, wednesday June 30th

'a soundwalk of Tartu'
Wednesday, May 26th
Eesti Rahva Muuseum, Tartu

For the next Helikoosolek, sound artist John Grzinich will conduct a soundwalk through Tartu. This soundwalk will be designed to highlight different sounding environments of this city. The idea of a soundwalk is primarily to simply listen and understand our surroundings from the perspective of our ears. By listening we shift our attention away from the visual world and question the ways in which we orientate ourselves. It is also an exercise in attention, to be reminded of the way we hear and select the sounds that are important for us as opposed to what we tune out.

The soundwalk participants will stay together as a group. The group will be organized in such a way that the participants will work in pairs. One person will be blindfolded and the other person will act as a guide. It is the responsibility of the guide to allow the blindfolded person to listen carefully and navigate through space with their ears and yet protect their partner from any potential dangers. Communication between the guide and the blind person should kept to a minimum to orient the attention to the surrounding environment and what is taking place there.

The soundwalk will begin at ERM at 18:00 and last approximately 1 hour. After 30 minutes the roles of the partners will switch. So the one who was blind will then become the guide. This gives each person the experience of being "blind" and being a guide. Both roles are equally important. The end of the walk will be at ERM where we will have a follow up discussion to share our experiences.

Please wear comfortable shoes and appropriate outdoor clothing. Anyone who does not feel comfortable being blindfolded is also free to join the walk.

In the case of heavy rain or other bad weather an alternative program will take place at ERM.

John Grzinich is an artist originally from America but now lives in Estonia and works with MOKS, an artist-rn center in Mooste, Põlvamaa. He has been conducting his own forms of sound research for over 15 years and is currently working on a project to analyze and raise awareness about soundscapes in Estonia.


Eesti Rahva Muuseumi näitusemajas (Kuperjanovi 9)

Kolmapäeval, 30 juunil kell 18.00

MOKS esitleb - Helikoosolek:Tartu, vol 4 – Helikõnd Tartus

Kolmapäeval, 30. juunil viib helikunstnik John Grzinich järgmisel Helikoosolekul osalejad helikõnnile läbi Tartu linna. Jalutuskäigu eesmärgiks on tuua esile Tartu linna erinevaid helikeskkondi. Helikõnni juhtmõtteks on panna tähele ja mõista ümbritsevat kuulmiselundite kaudu. Kuulamise kaudu pöörame tähelepanu eemale nähtavalt maailmalt ja seame kahtluse alla tavapärase arusaama ruumis orienteerumisest. See on ka tähelepanuharjutus, millega uurida seda, kuidas me kuulame, valime ja teadvustame enda jaoks olulisi helisid vastandina helidele mille suhtes me end „välja lülitame“.

Helikõnd toimub grupitööna. Grupp korraldatakse selliselt, et osalejad liiguvad paarides. Ühel paarilisest on silmad kinni seotud ning teine on talle juhiks. Juhi ülesandeks on võimaldada kinni seotud silmadega inimesel hoolikalt ümbrust kuulata ning ruumis orienteeruda ning kaitsta kaaslast võimalike ohtude eest. Suhtlus juhi ja kinnisilmi liikuva inimese vahel peaks olema minimaalne, et suunata tähelepanu ümbritsevale keskkonnale ja seal toimuvale.

Helikõnd algab ERMi juurest kell 18.00 ning kestab umbes tund aega. Pärast 30 minutilist jalutuskäiku vahetavad paarilised osad, nii et juhitavast saab juht. See annab mõlemale paarilisele võimaluse olla nii „pime“ kui juht, kuna mõlemad osad on võrdselt tähtsad. Jalutuskäigu lõppedes kogunetakse Eesti Rahva Muuseumi näitusemajja, et vahetada kogemusi ja nende üle arutleda.

Osalejatel palutakse panna jalga mugavad jalanõud ja ilmaga sobiv riietus. Kes end kinniste silmadega seotult ebamugavalt tunneb, võib lihtsalt helikõnniga liituda. Meeles tuleb pidada siiski peamist reeglit – lubada juhitavatel segamatult tajuda maailma kuulmise kaudu.

Tugeva vihmasaju vms halva ilma korral toimub ERMi näitusemajas Helikoosoleku alternatiivprogramm.

Eestis elav Ameerikast pärit helikunstnik John Grzinich töötab Põlvamaal MoKS kunsti ja sotsiaalpraktika keskuses. Ta on tegelenud heliuuringutega üle 15 aasta ning töötab praegu Eesti helimaastike analüüsimise ning tutvustamisega.

Helikoosolek on regulaarselt toimuv kohtumine inimestele, keda huvitab heli meie ümber kõigis oma väljendustes. Kohtumiste raames leiavad aset jutuajamised, esitlused, kontserdid, töötoad, arutelud ning väljasõidud. Kõigi nende tegevuste eesmärgiks on uurida heli esinemist ning kasutusvõimalusi kõikvõimalikes kontekstides: kunstis, muusikas, arhitektuuris, ökoloogias, filosoofias, sotsiaalses ja kultuurilises vastasmõjus jms. Ka osalejatel endil on võimalus pakkuda välja tegevusi või arutlus-teemasid vastavalt oma huvidele või tegevustele. Helikoosoleku kohtumisõhtud toimuvad iga kuu viimasel kolmapäeval kell 18-20.

3rd meeting report

It was a pleasure to have Carsten Stabenow and Derek Holzer come down to talk about Tuned City. They gave an overview of the concept and many of the projects and events that took place at the first Tuned City in Berlin, summer 2008.They also gave an overview of what's to come for the 2011 Tuned City for Tallinn.

Friday, May 21, 2010

3rd meeting, wednesday, may 26th

featuring Tuned City Tallinn 2011
Wednesday, May 26th
Eesti Rahva Muuseum, Tartu

This meeting of helikoosolek:tartu will feature a presentation and discussion about the upcoming Tuned City events in Tallinn as part of Tallinn Cultural Capital 2011.

During the initial tuned city event in Berlin in the summer of 2008, almost 100 artists, architects and thinkers gathered together in a variety of locations around the city to discuss issues of sound and architecture. The ongoing project draws the traditions of critical discussion about urban space within architecture and urban planning discourse - as well as its strategies and working methods - into the context of sound art. This expanded discussion reinforces the potential of the spatial and communicative properties of sound as a tool and means of urban practice. tuned city continues as a platform, exploring other cities and locations with their own cultural and social settings, working theoretically and practically on the question how sound and architecture are related. The talk will introduce general ideas that mark the field of research and present recent planning developed by tuned city for the European Cultural Capital Tallinn in 2011.

helikoosolek:tartu is organised by MoKS and supported by Eesti Rahva
Muuseum, Tartu Linnavalitsus and Eesti Kultuurkapital.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2nd meeting report

Thanks to everyone who came out and to Veljo Runnel for an excellent talk and presentation. It was another good turn out, and Veljo treated us to a wonderful collection of his sounds. We ran out of time, though, before he could play us the slowed-down-birdsong recording he promised us, so for those of you were disappointed, Veljo says: "Here it is, first in natural speed, then slowed down six times. The bird is Eurasian Reed Warbler, recorded from a boat in Alam-Pedja Nature Reserve."

it's here on aporee maps

Saturday, April 17, 2010

2nd meeting, Wednesday, April 28th

MoKS presents:
with Veljo Runnel
Wednesday, April 28
Eesti Rahva Muuseum, Tartu

This second meeting of helikoosolek:tartu will be led by Estonian nature
recordist, phonographer, and photographer Veljo Runnel.  Veljo is a
biologist based in Tartu who has been making nature recordings since
1999, founding the loodusheli website ( with
the Estonian Fund for Nature (ELF) soon thereafter. Veljo says, "I
think I can name myself as a nature educator and nature guide. This also
applies for nature sounds. I am educating people and helping them to
listen, understand and enjoy nature."

For our meeting, along with a presentation of his photography and
recordings, Veljo will address the following topics:
- Discovering aesthetic resources from nature.
- Learning to listen.
- Soundjourneys to wild places.
- Birds - artists or advertisers?

For more information on his work, see the following publications:

helikoosolek:tartu is organised by MoKS and supported by Eesti Rahva
Muuseum, Tartu Linnavalitsus and Eesti Kultuurkapital.

Friday, April 2, 2010

1st meeting report

a great turnout for our first meeting, and plenty of enthusiasm for future activities. requests have been made in future for a contact microphone building workshop, and an explanation of binaural recording/listening, and hence the intricacies of how the brain and body physically process directional sound information. if there are any experts that would be interested in making that presentation, please get in touch!

this time we met with anthea caddy and felicity mangan for a guided tour through the australian sound art scene, exploring the role environment plays in the creative realm via the long wire recordings of  alan lamb, the industrial field recordings of camilla hannan, the spatial interventions of eamon sprod, and many more.  we also learned that koalas are not as cute and cuddly as we thought.  our australian tour took most of the meeting, so we only took a brief look at some revenant:sound materials, but that's a topic we can return to at a later date.

a few pics from our first meeting below, care of mari jõgiste. the next meeting will be on the last wednesday of this month, april 28th, at 6pm. we will be announcing shortly who our guests will be.

Friday, March 19, 2010

1st meeting of helikoosolek:tartu, march 31st

MoKS presents: helikoosolek:tartu, a regular gathering for the exploration of sound in all forms.  The meetings will comprise presentations,concerts, workshops, discussions, and field trips pertaining to sound and its consideration in art, music, architecture, ecology, philosophy, social and cultural interaction, and any other context that presents itself. Participants are encouraged to propose activities or discussions on topics of their interest, or to present projects of their own for feedback.  Sessions normally take place on the last Wednesday of each month, from 6-8pm at the Eesti Rahva Muuseum.  Please check this blog for date confirmations and programme details. Supported by Eesti Rahva Muuseum, Tartu Linnavalitsus and Eesti Kultuurkapital.

The 1st meeting of the helikoosolek will take place at 6pm on Wednesday, March 31st.  There will be two presentations:

Patrick McGinley will welcome participants and open with a discussion on the aims of the helikoosolek.  He will also present the/revenant:sound/  project./Revenant/  is an ongoing project with open membership that focuses on site-specific acoustic actions.  The project comprises performances, workshops, and publications that explore human interaction with and the gestural memory of specific spaces.  Since 2006 a diverse group of sound artists from around the world have been coming together in various combinations to further explore these interactions.

Visiting Australian artists Felicity Mangan and Anthea Caddy will give a presentation on the Australian sound art / experimental music movement and their own work within it.  They will address questions both of culture and environment, and explore how Australia's specific landscape and surroundings have informed their work.

These three artists will also be performing live in concert with Kiwa and Sven Vabar at Genialistide Klubi on Saturday, April 3rd.  We hope this 1st meeting of the helikoosolek will provide potential concert-goers with further insight into the artists' work.