Luther auf der Wartburg

A commissioned site specific sound installation for the formal opening ceremony of the 500th anniversary of the reformation.
This sound installation, located inside the Wartburg in Eisenach, deals with Martin Luther and the time he spent there. Inside the two courtyards of the castle, 19 separate loudspeakers are hidden behind walls, stones and plants. Together, these sound sources create a unique sound environment in which the audience is invited to move freely.
Sounds are divided in one main ambience and three distinct listening zones which the audience passes on their way through the installation. The listening zones animate the courtyard with concrete sound references to the place and its history. The first zone deals with Luther as a translator and a wordsmith of the German language, while the second zone paints a different more radical and rude picture of his language, using quotations from pamphlets he wrote during his time at the Wartburg. The third zone reflects on specific situations he experienced during that time.
While passing through these zones, the audience gradually approaches the acoustic origin of the installation’s main ambience: Inside the archway to the second courtyard three cymbals are installed. These cymbals are set into oscillation using transducers, thereby producing a rich, sustained harmonic texture. Changes in the sound are controlled by computer. The ambience created by cymbals spreads through the entire courtyard. A single impulse from the transducer sets something into oscillation which then resonates through the whole environment. This technical process symbolically represents the idea of the reformation spreading out among the people.