Side-Line went checking out Arne Nordheim's Dråpen installation

Posted on 16/09/13

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Side-Line went checking out Arne Nordheim's Dråpen installation

(By our Norwegian correspondent Jan Ronald Stange) - We've explored a different aspect of electronic music, joining the Ultima Festival on one of the rare guided tours of "Dråpen" ("The Drop") installation by late Norwegian composer Arne Nordheim, inside a mountain containing a sewage treatment plant, just 5 minutes from the centre of Oslo (Norway).

Side-Line went checking out Arne Nordheim's Dråpen installation

"Deep inside that rock, we ought to craft a meeting between technology and humanism," said Arne Nordheim at the opening of the sound installation "Dråpen" inside the Bekkelaget Sewage Treatment Plant in 2001. Ultima presents an exclusive opportunity to experience Nordheim's work "Dråpen", which is normally closed to the public. With 32 loudspeakers, 2,500 metres of cable, and 12 sound programmes arranged in 500 million ways, the chemical system in the sewage process determines the sound digitally, thus producing different sounds from one day to the next, year after year.

Nordheim was doing electronic ambient music already in the 60's (Spotify link) and 70’s (Spotify link), and have also inspired other ambient musicians to make their own interpretations of his work. Check out (Spotify link) Biosphere and Deathprod to get an idea what we mean.

Thanks to John-Erik Bye Johansen for suggesting we check out this event. A short film with some of the impressions from the installation, quickly captured with iPhone, can be viewed below.

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