Spatial Sound Composition (2022)

Data Acquisition (A Song of Sadness) is a spatial sound composition by Moritz Fehr created for the newly established Listening Space at the Ethnological Museum, Berlin. It deals with a historical recording of the Korean folk song Susimga, that was recorded with the Korean prisoner of war Grigori Kim by the so called Royal Prussian Phonographic Commission on November 22, 1916 in the German prisoner of war camp Königsbrück near Dresden.

The recording of this song was made against a colonial background and in a forced situation, and it today serves as an intangible collection object. The spatial sound composition examines both the significance of this recording for the present as well as its problematic exposure in the exhibition context as part of an ethnological collection. It audibly reflects the methodology, classification systems and the technology used by the scientists at the time for the creation of the recordings.

Moritz Fehr combines reinterpretations and improvisations related to the historical recording the song, field recordings of the original recording locations and historical text material to create a fully spatial listening experience, making use of a combination of the surround sound techniques Wave Field Synthesis and Ambisonics. The reproduction of the historical recording by Grigori Kim is deliberately omitted.

Vocals: Sol-i So, Joonsik Kim

With kind support of 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.

From February 2022, Data Acquisition (A Song of Sadness) will be exhibited permanently at the Listening Space of the Ethnological Museum Berlin (Department of Ethnomusicology).