Sound installation created for an idle garage underneath the municipality in Sibratsgfäll, Bregenzerwald AT during the first summer of COVID-19 (2020)
NATURTON SPIELAUTOMAT ('Natural Tone Slot Machine') is a meditative sound experience. The alphorn, fierce and beautiful - like the mother of all wind instruments, forms the foundation for a lyrical approach to the known from the perspective of the outsider, embracing the collective and the individual at the same time.
Formerly a tool used by shepherds in the Alps of Switzerland and Austria (to call the cows from the pastures to the stable, to pacify cows during milking and to communicate with the herdsmen on the neighboring Alps and the people down in the valley below) the alphorn now, with the revival of folklore and tourism, serves as musical instrument, tourist attraction and national symbol for the two neighboring countries.
The alphorn has no lateral openings and therefore gives the pure natural harmonic series of the open pipe. These 'natural tones' now form the soundtrack of the Alpine region; tourism and thus the self-narration of the nations has redefined the alphorn and given it a new function.
Tourism and the resulting self-narration and staging, our attempts to convey who we are, seems to change our history, our self-image and ultimately ourselves. It is an act of translation and of mediation, that initiates transformation.
In collaboration with Sibratsgfäll based alphorn maker Wolfgang Maurer, the entire Tonal range of an alphorn is recorded and arranged on sound tracks so that in the exhibition space an ever changing sound combination surrounds the visitor. As with the slot machine 'one-armed bandit', we are at the mercy of chance, but instead of cherries, lemons or bells on rotating dials, what emerges are various combinations of natural tones.
NATURTON SPIELAUTOMAT is an acoustic reflection. A concentrated space in which everyone is alone with a unique experience without narrative, course or dynamic.