The Saxon heritage, a sound journey

Project promoted and funded by Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bucharest and Goethe Institut

 

The Saxon heritage, a sound journey is an artistic project based on ethnographic research by which we aim to contribute to the preservation of the soundscape. We set out to explore the sound imprint and specific artefacts of the Saxon community, in its temporal, social and customary components.

The Saxons have a longstanding history in Transylvania and left a substantial imprint on the region. Settled in Transylvania in the 12th century from areas that are known today as Germany, France, Belgium and Luxembourg, the Saxons gained a reputation for being skilled craftsmen and farmers. The Saxons preserved their own traditions, as well as the Saxon language, with variations from one village to another.

A common idea reunited all the stories of the people we have talked to, Saxons and non-Saxons, younger and older: Saxons had a very strong sense of community and were rigorously organized in self-sustainable groups called “neighborhoods”. The neighborhoods had firm rules which applied to all members of the community. For example, if someone in a neighborhood needed the roof fixed, all the men of that neighborhood, without exception, gathered in order to fix the roof, without asking anything in return, but knowing that when another one of them should need help, the others would be there. Over the past century, the majority of the Saxon population left Transylvania.

We have asked ourselves what remained of the Saxon tradition, its sounds, its sense of community. We explored the answer in the process of creating the two sound sculptures you will see during our exhibition, The Saxon heritage, a sound journey, which are the material and sound result of our research. You can listen to stories, soundscape and ceremonies experienced throughout our journey.

Our method relied on combining on-field sound research with artefacts research. At the end, the sound recordings and artefacts were processed individually, embedding the recorded and processed sound into the artefacts in order to create multimedia artworks, objects that “speak”, telling their own story and that of the communities from which they emerge.

The Sound Sculptures, Prelude for Organ and Trittico, reflect the Saxon anthropic landscapes and com- munities and are displayed with the aim to stop and manifest the current Saxon soundscape, to make it public, experimental and conscious. You are invited to live an immediate experience of the Saxon communities.

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The exhibition at Goethe Institut

The sound sculptures