The Murder of Crows


Went to see Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s The Murder of Crows at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum of Contemporary Art today. Was pretty inspiring.

98 speakers scattered around the room for an emotive aural experience. The songs were beautiful. Reminded me of Pink Floyd.

From the Gallery’s site:

In the otherwise empty historical hall of the Hamburger Bahnhof, 98 loudspeakers are installed. These emit the sounds of voices, music and soundscapes generated by special stereophonic recording and replay techniques, creating a composition that has a direct physical impact on the listener. The special Ambisonic soundfield system generates a greatly intensified aural and emotional space, so that the acoustic events that transpire in the three-dimensional soundspace have a startling, disconcerting immediacy. The installation is conceived like a film or a play, but one whose images and narrative structures are created by sound alone.

The installation’s title, “The Murder of Crows”, refers both to the English term for a flock of those birds and to the strange occurrence known as a ‘crow funeral’: when a crow dies, many other crows converge around the body and caw, perhaps in lament, for over 24 hours. The work also references the etching “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters” by Francisco de Goya.

Wasn’t really feeling the rest of the stuff at the Hamburger Bahnhof. Didn’t really grab me at all – pretty abstract.

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