Sounding tunnels

 In 2020, Nuremberg, one river six tunnels

Today Alex and I meet with Silja Beck, Ina Ritter and Alessia Pennavaria who also live in Nürnberg and study at the Academy of Fine Arts here with Alex. Earlier this week, we met and discussed bicrophonics, Nürnberg living and more and had agreed to meet today to go play and sound the tunnels and see what we can hear. Again it’s stunningly hot and we head straight for Tunnel 1 part 2. [check]. Huge and arched with long reverb we sing and hum and drop and throw things around and I record it all, moving the mics with the action, encouraging directions only sometimes. They all have wide ranging voices and can hear what’s happening so the fun and variety simply explodes over an hour.

We ride and pause in all the tunnels but the one riverside, below Tunnel 5 is the next one to kick. It’s soft , brown smelling of earth underfoot and quiet (Tunnel 1 has the Ubahn running alongside) and used to provide space for people to live, but now is more transient, shared by many who want to sleep or party or read or just sit on the sofa. We do a bit of everything and apart from more inspired vocalisations, a story emerges about Tunnel 5. Suddenly it’s obvious to me that this is what we need for each Tunnel. Each has a different function and was built at a different moment in time with different material making different voices in the history of this city. Together they tell their own unacknowledged stories of this historic city. And Alex and Silja oblige and tell their stories of each one. Interesting. We suddenly have a narrative.

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