“SOUND ART HAS BECOME ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT FIELDS IN 21ST CENTURY ART.” Peter Weibel
Klanghaus Untergreith is an international centre for sound art that was founded by director Mia Zabelka in 2008. The Klanghaus Untergreith is furthermore a forum for creative development based on the subtle principle of auditory perception and work based on acoustic and sensory phenomena. New and changing approaches to socio-political and cultural fields are inherent to the curatorial focus. Klanghaus Untergreith is in the south Styrian village of Untergreith, surrounded by vineyards, and consists of a recording studio, exhibition and performance space in addition to an outdoor stage. The live events involve every thinkable form of noise, tone and sound. The performances we present are characterized by interdisciplinary, experimental and border-crossing aspects in genres spanning visual arts, literature, performance art, media art and music.
Seasonal programmes four times a year under the auspices of the “Klangfest” festival aim to manifest complex sensory perception for audiences and artists alike. Far from the urban din, the natural ambience of the Klanggarten, in front of the Klanghaus, offers a unique and concentrated space inviting listeners into the exciting world of new forms of musical expression.
Klanghaus Untergreith is in a constant state of process, whereby the “Klangfest”, “Klanggalerie”, “Artist in Residence Programme” and workshops for children and teenagers are examples of ongoing projects that repeatedly pose questions related to artistic strategies, approaches and positions in the ever broader horizon of pluralistic possibilities.
The programme never follows simple, one-dimensional concepts, but always strives to promote discourse between various different media whilst involving the local art scene and the surrounding area in order to encourage a long-term engagement with, and openness and consciousness for culture beyond the mainstream. Artists from various disciplines and cultural backgrounds are brought together at the Klanghaus. They develop projects together with regional artists such as the local brass band; projects that are presented to the rural and urban audiences who come to the Klanghaus festivals four times a year. The presentations start in the afternoon and go on late into the night. They are catered by a gourmet restaurant close by and local winemakers. The setting enables the audience to enter into conversation and personal exchange with the artists. The gastronomic accompaniment from the region contributes significantly to the aesthetic and authentic atmosphere. The festivals are an expression of a shared search for new terrain, which can lead to irritation and throws up new questions, demanding an overhaul of “traditional” approaches, leaving audience and artists with lasting food for thought. The Klanghaus Untergreith provides an innovative platform for experimental performance art in the region and presents significant cultural work in the countryside, artwork which is usually only seen in cities, involving the rural population in the process. The projects bring artists and visitors together in an intimate ambience. International musicians, composers, dancers and sound artists come into contact with the region. The local council, St. Johann im Saggautal, with its schools and brass bands, are actively involved in programming various events.
The promotion of innovative, inter-medial, interdisciplinary art and cultural projects with a focus on “sound art”
“The fundamental techniques of electronic media today enable new forms of creativity and the creation of sound and music, they change the way in which music is heard. Sonic art is no longer limited to music. Artistic treatments of sound have developed which reach far beyond a traditional understanding of music and demand new conceptualizations.
Sound art refers to those musical art-forms for the creation of which technical media play a significant or necessary role. Sound art as a phenomenon of modernity accepts structural characteristics from media as a source of aesthetic creative conditionality, accepts the challenge of an experimental examinations of preceptive phenomena and uses media partly critically and partly playfully to consciously strive towards a loss of control.
Accessible plurality and unpredictability of the results of a given process are understood to be fundamental conditions of development. The central topic of sound art is the technical feasibility of the previously unattainable: storage; the transfer and synthesis of sound; just as inter-medial transformation and virtualisation are repeatedly to be found at the core of musical engagement with technical media. Transfer, storage, sonic synthesis, inter-medial conjunctions, space as a defining parameter of music, media-specific forms of narration, suspension of time, the virtualisation and de-hierarchisation of sounds are all factors that are integrated into creative techniques.
"Electronic experimental music, radio art, sound installations and ambient music, inter-medial and participative sound compositions, sonic architecture in public space, sound performance and many other things: the realization of sound art requires not only special technical and location-related frameworks and conditions but beyond that moves as an interdisciplinary genre into the realms of music, theatre, media and visual arts. A localization in one of these areas is impossible.”
Univ.Prof. Dr.Helga de la Motte