With this project it was the first time that I had the opportunity to use a whole building for making an installation. The main idea of 3'44 tschumi was to transform the pavilion into a sound object. The structure and shell of the pavilion were used to make sounds audible through vibration phenomena. The steel structure was the conductor of the sounds, the glass surface was used as a membrane and the shell became the room where the resonance happens. The pavilion was used as the acoustic resonator, it served as the 'fingerprint' of new injected sounds.
We used pre-recorded sounds from specific surroundings of the city Groningen and let it resonate through the pavilion building. The result of this sonic resonance was transmitted in realtime to multiple locations in Groningen.
The pavilions of Coop Himmelblau (Delfzijl) and Zaha Hadid (Appingedam) and the Bus Stop Koolhaas (Groningen Emmaplein) were used as a 'microphone' for recording environmental sounds. With special stethoscope microphones mounted on the walls of the pavilions sounds were recorded from the immediate surroundings. With this special, indirect, field recordings a sound collage was created. The composition was induced into the Tschumipaviljoen with transducers. During intervals of 3 minutes 44 seconds, the sound went through the pavilion, alternated with equally long silence. This refers to the composition 4'33 by John Cage.
He called this 'A Silent Piece'. Cage puts itself in the tradition of the Eastern Philosophy: The intent of the composer and music does not matter if pure sound is equated with life. This composition redefined silence as an absence of intentional noise or raising awareness.
They missed the point. There’s no such thing as silence. What they
thought was silence, because they didn’t know how to listen, was full of
accidental sounds. You could hear the wind stirring outside during the first
movement. During the second, raindrops began patterning the roof, and
during the third the people themselves made all kinds of interesting
sounds as they talked or walked out.
- John Cage speaking about the premiere of 4'33