Binnentuinklanken by Fani Konstantinidou & Mayke Haringhuizen
Listen and Order on Bandcamp here.
Binnentuinklanken is a project inspired by the sounds of the Amsterdam area Oud-West. Apart from the usual busy streets, the diverse markets, and the multicultural environment, one can find in the area many collective—but privately accessible—gardens, unknown to most people, that are hidden behind building blocks (binnentuinen). In this project the goal was to explore, expose, and create work that is based on these green gems in one of the busiest areas of Amsterdam. Invited by Soundtrackcity, we organized soundwalks, interviewed residents of the area, and composed new music.
The gardens that we explored are:
- Borgerstraat / Ten Kateplein: a municipal shared garden closed to the public.
- Johannapark: a communal garden designed and kept by a resident association, open by appointment.
- Natuurtuin Slatuinen: a public garden with unique flora and fauna, open to the public on specific days/times.
The first CD contains three compositions (The Tree, The Fly, the Frog) that correspond to these three gardens/locations respectively. They are based on field recordings made in the area on different days and seasons, as well as organ recordings made in Orgelpark — a special music venue in the area that hosts unique organs. These recordings have been electronically manipulated and re-constructed in order to express our personal artistic view. The works aim at exposing the contrast between the world ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the gardens, and expressing the serenity of the “inside” area as perceived by us during our visit.
The second CD contains interviews with several residents of buildings that have access to these hidden gardens, two of which are also garden designers. Both the Johannapark and the Natuurtuin Slatuinen originated from wasteland that had been developed into beautiful gardens by these residents. We were welcomed into each garden, where we made recordings and sometimes received a tour. Residents speak about the sounds they hear in their daily lives and describe their sound experience of the garden and neighbourhood. The first three tracks refer to the garden behind the Borgerstraat, the fourth track to Johannapark, and the last one to Natuurtuin Slatuinen.
During the period that we worked on this project, we also organized a few sound-walks in the area that took place in different seasons and weather conditions. Our guests had the opportunity to get guidance, to observe, and to discover the sounds of a particular route, especially designed by us. Apart from the sounds that occurred in real-time during our walks, the guests could listen to some of our recordings of the hidden sounds via the Sonic West app, as well as get access to the Johannapark communal garden
This route, together with pre-recorded hidden sounds, are now available in the www.echoes.xyz website and mobile app (free for iOS and Android) so that anyone can experience it individually or in a group.
Last but not least, excerpts of the compositions and the audio interviews, as well as sound recordings of the soundwalks, can be accessed via the Sonic West website and app (free for iOS and Android).