Towards the Unsecure Horizon
Acoustic Ecology: Art, Collapse, Landscape

Panel discussion and presentation
1 October, 2019
GHMP, Stone Bell House


Sonic Circuits



The act of listening reveals the dissonance of the approaching age of climate change during the Anthropocene. The upcoming international conference MURMURANS MUNDUS: Sonic Ecology and Beyond, the CENSE Annual Conference in Ústí nad Labem (3–5 October, 2019) will focus on topics relating to acoustic ecology. The conference will feature a number of guests from such fields as ecology, sociology, art and philosophy, who will reflect on this burning topic.


Panel discussion and presentations

Program to be confirmed.

Guests: Maja Ristič, Jonáš Gruska, Tomáš Šenkyřík, Peter Cusack, Slávek Kwi, Jan Krtička, and others.

Peter Cusack (b. 1948, London) is a field recordist, musician and researcher with a long interest in the sound environment. Projects include community arts, research into sound and our sense of place, and documentary recordings in areas of special sonic interest (Lake Baikal, Siberia). His project Sounds From Dangerous Places explores soundscapes at sites of major environmental damage — the Chernobyl exclusion zone; Caspian oil fields; UK nuclear sites. The project is ongoing and currently researches the regeneration of the North Aral Sea in Kazakhstan. He describes the use of sound to investigate documentary issues such as sonic journalism. He initiated the Favourite Sounds Project in London 1998 which aims to discover what people find positive about their everyday sound environment and which has since been carried out in Beijing, Berlin, Manchester, Southend-on-Sea, Prague, Birmingham and Taranto. He co-produced the environmental sound program Vermilion Sounds for Resonance FM, London and was a research fellow at the multidisciplinary Positive Soundscapes Project from 2006–09. During 2011–12 he was a DAAD artist in residence in Berlin, where he worked on the collaborative project Berlin Sonic Spaces that explored the relationship between the soundscape and city development.

Manja Ristič (b. 1979, Belgrade) graduated in 2001 from the Belgrade Academy of Music, then in 2004 was awarded at the Royal College of Music, London as PGDip Solo-Ensemble Recitalist. As a classical solo and chamber musician, as well as a composer and an improv musician, Ristič has performed all across Europe and beyond, including collaborations with established conductors and performers, multimedia artists, visual artists, poets, theater and movie directors. During her undergraduate studies, Ristič started collaboration with cellist Ivana Grahovac, forming the experimental electro-acoustic duo Eruption that brings progressive approaches in instrumental string performance to the SEE region and, since the end of the 90s, has continuously supported development of the free improvisation scene in Belgrade.

After finishing her post-graduate studies, Ristič has been focusing on contemporary performance in the field of instrumental electro–acoustics, sound art, field recording, interdisciplinary sound-related research (mnemotopia, mnemopoetics and site-specific intervention), and experimental radio arts. She is the founder of the Association of Multimedia Artists “Auropolis” (since 2004) that, under her guidance, has developed a number of distinctive cultural events, international projects, cultural conferences and educational modules in the fields of scenic and multimedia arts.

Jonáš Gruska (b. 1990, Czechoslovakia) studied at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague (Netherlands) and at the Music Academy in Cracow (Poland). His main focuses are chaotic rhythms and the exploration of psychoacoustic properties of sound and field recording. He has created several site-specific sound installations, based on the resonant properties of spaces and materials. He has given workshops on sonification, field recording, electromagnetic listening, and programming for artists. He is the creator of Elektrosluch, an electromagnetic listening device. He has performed and exhibited his work in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, and the UK; at festivals such as Kraak (Belgium), Unsound (Poland), Norberg (Sweden), Sonic Experiments @ ZKM (Germany), Audio Art (Poland), Borealis (Norway), Mélos-Ethos (Slovakia), Parallel Vienna (Austria), Ultrahang (Hungary) and Next (Slovakia). In 2009, he launched the label LOM, focused on East/Central European experimental art and music. Since 2013, he has been organizing ZVUK, an outdoor festival dedicated to experimental music.

Slavek Kwi is a sound artist, composer and researcher interested in the phenomenon of perception as the fundamental determinant of relations with reality. He has a longstanding fascination with sound environments, developing what he terms “electroacoustic sound-paintings” that oscillate between sound-only works and interdisciplinary works exploring social, spatial and temporal processes. These complex audio-based situations are created mainly from site-specific recordings, resulting in subjective reports for radio broadcast, “cinema for ears” for multi-channel playback, sound installations integrated into the environment and performances. From the early 90s, Kwi has operated under the name Artificial Memory Trace. Mozaik received the Prize of the Electroacoustic Sonic Art Category at the 29th International Competition of Electroacoustic Music and Sound Art, Bourges 2002 in France. He facilitates experimental sound workshops with autistic children and those with learning disabilities. The workshop technique emphasises extensive listening and the stimulation of creativity through observation and the support of natural tendencies. Slavek was born in former Czechoslovakia, has lived 14 years in Belgium and has been based in Ireland since 2000.

Jan Krtička (b. 1979, Olomouc) is a teacher and audiovisual artist. In his work, he often uses elements of aurality, conceptual thinking and topography. Krtička graduated in sculpture at the Faculty of Visual Arts at the Technical Univerisity in Brno. His doctoral thesis (at the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Jan Evangelista Purkyně in Ústí nad Labem) focused on theories and critical aspects of documentation of arts. Krtička is interested in the context of landscape and often engages with the contingency of nature and the determinancy of the human. Jan Krtička is the main initiator and organizer of the conference dedicated to Acoustic Ecology in Ústí nad Labem.

Tomáš Šenkyřík (b. 1972, Přílepy chateau near Zlín). He studied musicology at the Philosophical Faculty of Masaryk University in Brno. In 1997, he founded the Cymbelín ensemble, writing music and performing on the guitar and bass guitar. The band has released three albums with Indies Records. Since 2000, Šenkyřík has composed music in collaboration with choreographer Hana Košíková and with Ladislava Košíková (Hradišťan). He is also involved in studying and documenting authentic Roma folk music. In 2001, he joined with Eva Davidová and the Museum of Roma Culture to release an album of traditional Roma songs Gila, Djila, Gilora. He regularly participates in composition workshops and working consultations (including Helmut Oehring, Lasse Thoresen, Philippe Manoury, Marek Kopelent, Martin Smolka, Michal Rataj, Christian Fennesz). His compositions have made it to the final round of the Musica Nova competition (2006 and 2007), and are frequently inspired by the sound of old, broken instruments, traditional folk music, and field recordings. Šenkyřík also finds inspiration in the human voice, poetry, and human stories.

Prepared by: GHMP and Agosto Foundation.