DATA ACQUISITION (Song of Sadness)
Spatial Sound Composition (2022)

Data Acquisition (A Song of Sadness) is a spatial sound composition by Moritz Fehr, presented permanently at the Listening Space of the Ethnological Museum, Berlin.

In the years between 1915 and 1918, employees of the so-called Royal Prussian Phonographic Commission recorded the voices of prisoners at the Königsbrück POW camp near Dresden on wax cylinders and shellac records. On November 22, 1916, Grigori Kim (Kim Hong-Jun), who was held there as a soldier of the Russian army, sang, along with others, the Korean folk song Susimga. The recording of the song has been preserved to this day and is part of the collection of the Lautarchiv of the Humboldt University Berlin.

Data Acquisition (A Song of Sadness) engages with the historic recording of Susimga and its significance for the present. Due to the forced situation concerning the recording as well as the still unresolved questions regarding the copyright and personal rights of the singer Grigori Kim, the historical recording is not reproduced as part of this composition. Instead, Moritz Fehr worked with contemporary vocalists Sol-i So (Dresden/ Bern) and Joonsik Kim (Seoul, commissioned by the National Gugak Center Seoul). In this process, new interpretations and improvisations relating to the historical recording of Susimga were created for Data Acquisition (A Song of Sadness).

Vocals and improvisations: Sol-i So ↗︎ (Dresden/Bern) and Joonsik Kim (Seoul)

Kindly supported by the Ethnological Museum Berlin (Department of Ethnomusicology), National Gugak Center Seoul, Lautarchiv of the Humboldt University Berlin, the TU Berlin (Department of Audio Communication) and the Cultural Center of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, Berlin.