The Graveyard Digression

Soundwalk
Website

Walking piece details

Duration 30 minutes
Cost Free
Soundwalk (optimised for Placecloud – six segments)
Soundwalk (optimised for Echoes.xyz – three segments)
Soundwalk (optimised for soundcloud – all in one segment)
All things PUBLIC RETREAT (a linktree with relevant links)

What can a cemetery teach us?
The Graveyard Digression asks this question, and many more, in an approximately 30 minute long sound journey passing through St. Pauli Southern Cemetery in Malmö.

Starting by the small gallery, SPARK, in Båstadsgatan 4 in Malmø, the sound walk jumps backwards through time with the help of the local brick architecture, uncovering old stories of work, class, the infrastructure of public hygiene and social issues. All the while moving towards the St. Pauli Southern Cemetery – before entering it enveloped in a mystical analogue drones.
Walking through the southern, through to the the middle part of the cemetery, the walking listener is invited to reflect on how the cemetery acts as an archive of lived life, and as a symptom of the very human tendency to try to make sense of extreme and abstract feelings. How fragile are memories? Is anything forever?

The different segments take the form as a fragmented audio essay – spanning poetry, speculative listening exercises and field recordings from Oslo’s largest crematorium (from cold storage to oven, to being raked out and cooled, sifted through for metals or ceramic implants, before subsequently being grinded to a fine dust in the cremulator, poured into an urned and placed in storage awaiting pickup).

The sound walk blends in historical facts and anecdotes – and looks at the infrastructure and philosophy of how we, as a species, in our different societies and cultures, deal with questions of death – both as a very practical, mundane, day-to-day-maintenance kind of thing (cutting grass, planting flowers, watering flowers, raking leaves etc), through the bureacracy, business, ethics and politics of the death sector, to the spiritual and traditional aspects of honoring lived life, letting go and remembering.

All soundscapes, field recordings, musical elements and texts are made by PUBLIC RETREAT specifically for this sound walk.

The Graveyard Digression was made as part of the exhibition “Scores For Malmö” in the gallery SPARK, in Båstadsgatan 4, Malmö, Sweden.

The soundwalk can be experienced on both placecloud (in six segments) and echoes.xyz (in three segments)

PUBLIC RETREAT is an interdisciplinary art project exploring our (human and more-than-human) common auditory urban environments. The project is made by architect and visual artist Johanna Fager (SE), electronic composer and artist Nicole Cecilie Bitsch Pedersen and visual artist and writer Jo Mikkel Sjaastad Huse (NO).

Through artistic research, sound works, radio broadcasts, workshops and exhibitions, the aim of PUBLIC RETREAT is to engage fellow citizens to contemplate on the role of sounds in our lives, from their purely physical properties to their emotional, psychological and physiological impact.

Earlier projects include semi-utopian architectural plans for an entire new neighborhood; an absurd elevator pitch for an inverted skyscraper – a subterranean earthscraper – that could t all of mankind; a sound walk about graveyards; handsewn site specic and locally distributed magazines; and a radio show about city planning, voiced in part by an enthusiastic bird.

Credits

The Graveyard Digression is made by: PUBLIC RETREAT – consisting of architect and visual artist Johanna Fager (SE), electronic composer and installation artist Nicole Cecilie Bitsch Pedersen (DK) and artist and writer Jo Mikkel Sjaastad Huse (NO).

The Graveyard Digression was made as part of the exhibition “Scores For Malmö” in the gallery SPARK, in Båstadsgatan 4, Malmö, Sweden (the exhibition was open 20. Oct – 19. Nov 2023, but the soundwalk remains available for the forseeable and unforseeable future)

Public Retreat

Public Retreat is: Johanna Fager (SE), Nicole Cecilie Bitsch Pedersen (DK) and Jo Mikkel Sjaastad Huse (NO). The project examines public space in dense, modern cities. Their soundscapes, characteristics and design. Who are they made by and for? Can one se...

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