Site-specific Sound Installation for 16 channels (since 2009)

For the Jerusalem Panorama in Altötting, Germany, Moritz Fehr has created an immersive, spatial sound installation that was opened to the public in August of 2009. The installation has been specially made for the historic panoramic space and is set up permanently.

The monumental cyclorama Jerusalem Panorama was painted in 1903 by Gebhard Fugel. It is Germany’s sole historic large-scale Panorama-painting (approximately 95 x 12 meters), covering the walls of a space of about 30 meters in diameter.

The combination of a panorama painting with sound seems to be as obvious as much as audible elements are capable of supporting the illusionist effect established by the panoramic contraption. However, in the past, sound and noise have mostly been employed, or experimented within Panorama-related forms such as the Diorama and the Moving Panorama. The idea of this work is to use sound as an independent element and by this exceed the limits of its function as a mere supplementary background noise. It is not intended to illustrate the given visual impression of the Panorama, but to broaden the perception of the illusionistic medium through spatial sound and therefore enhance the immersive experience.

The composition is playing in a cycle of 30 minutes through a array of 16 speakers, especially designed for the space. The different layers of shifting and moving sounds create an artificial soundscape that accentuates the distinct layers of the panoramic space and highlights different sections of the painting.

The project was made possible through generous funding by: Streicher & Streicher Foundation, Bavarian Ministry for Science, Research and Art, Kunstfonds Bayern, City of Altötting, Sparkasse Altötting-Mühldorf, Bezirk Oberbayern Kulturfonds Landkreis Altötting.