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The Sound of the Amman - Mainz Collaboration: 

The Performing Group:

Jan Glück, Willi Bücking, David Goralsky

Abdullah Ma'ani, Britta Döring, Björn Brunke, Paulo Ferreira-Lopes


In September we started a challenging project with the German-Jordanian University in Amman. Visual and audio projects were to be developed - a collaboration in distance, and we collected experience in  "Remote Directing". One result and experiment at the same time we like to show: a joint audio-visual concert with musicians from Mainz and Amman - a mix of Master- and Bachelor students of the dept. of time based media and media-design.

The entire project is a joint cooperation by the German-Jordanian University Amman and the Mainz University of Applied Sciences supported by the DAAD / German Academic Exchange Service with the artistic directors Prof. Hartmut Jahn, Prof. Dr. Paulo Ferreira-Lopes and Prof. Yahya Alabdallah

Everybody joint at Saturday January 16th 2021, 6 pm CET


About 200 years ago, the musical listening was conceived to be experienced strictly in the concert hall. Acoustic spaces were designed to focus the audience’s listening field consistent to their visual perception. Since musicians were traditionally seated in front of the recipient, it only made sense to create an acoustic space that supported this perception (approximately 120 degrees) and to give the impression of frontally perceived sound. 


Furthermore any other sound or musical event that transcended this auditory field was undesirable and more or less irrelevant for the listener.

A concert was moreover conceived to be listened by many people simultaneously but only within a single geographical place. The introduction of the radio allowed to interpolate these early fixed relations - a concert, at a given time, for several people in a fixed place - to a new paradigm of spatial dispersion - a concert, at a given time, for hundreds of people, simultaneously in different places.

With further developments in recording technology it was possible to introduce even more complexity to these initial relations - a concert, at different times, for hundreds of people in asynchronous time, in many places.

With today’s digital technology the options at hand are virtually infinite. 

Not only is it possible to recreate a physical and true to life rendering of an acoustic space and to place and move a sound source within three-dimensional space but also to overcome the limits of our physical world and create a virtual acoustic situation that is impossible to recreate in real life. 

Today we experience a concert played in a non determined space, over many, many places and playing different sounds from different times and from many geographical sources.

Over the concert the participants will be able to design in real time different acoustic spaces and to modify asynchronously the sounds that each one is playing on different geographic places (Amman, Mainz, Wiesbaden, Karlsruhe, etc…).  

The thought of entering a virtual space for a set amount of time (or surfing the web, as it was once called) is outdated. The digital “domain” is not something external to the material world that can be visited anymore, but social and personal life now include digital aspects. As electricity once found its way into a mechanical with the two now being interleaved beyond separation, digitality has now begun to take a similar course. This notion is transferrable from the technology used to the effects it has and the resulting creations. It is now obsolete to think of an online-concert as inside of something that is different from the material world. A certain virtual space that can be entered does not exist (whether it ever did can be debated, however this doesn´t concern the point being made here).


Related to this idea is the case of digital technology and its use. Too often the computer is only judged by its abilities to memetising already existent things (i.e. as replacement for binders, typewriters or tape-recorders).  Much more beneficial would be the explorations of distinct capabilities. Of course this does happen but it needs to be clarified that when we do a concert through the means of the internet it is not about replacing and emulating what has already been possible before (meaning we don´t seek to do what could be done in a concert hall as well) but much rather about creating another approach of artistic expression that could in no other way be done. What this longs to be is the development of an art form which only lives and functions in this way, which hasn´t been transferred from the material world and which can´t be brought into a different context. This is not recreating things of the past, but embracing and shaping the present.

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