The Role of Humans Time to Listen


A genuine, direct relationship between humans and nature has been misplaced in the Anthropocene Age. Technologies and machines – including microphones – produce distance and a sense of estrangement, raising fundamental questions about the future.

Irish composer Karen Power’s audiovisual composition language land sea invites the audience to rethink the role of humans on the planet. Basing her work on field recordings, she puts the expressive performer Loré Lixenberg in a macro environment of real and imagined places, harnessing the singer’s readiness to experiment. Power recorded the soundscapes in regions like Antarctica or the Namib Desert on the southwest coast of Africa, extreme parts of the world that are undergoing rapid changes due to the climate crisis. She concludes that there is now no place left on earth that remains untouched by humans, even if it takes time in many cases for this impact to manifest in a particular ecosystem. Mirrored in the videos as she moves freely through the space, Lixenberg acts as a proxy for the audience, listening and reflecting on her relationship with the environment.

The concert’s second part focuses on factory farming in rural areas: its mechanical sounds reveal how deep the chasm is between the slaughtered animal and the human who consumes it. Composer and sound artist Jacob Kirkegaard – who is one of the first to scrupulously apply an acoustic focus to the key processes of the environmental crisis at local and global levels – has recorded the sounds and vibrations produced by pig, cattle and chicken farms in Denmark, including the large Danish Crown pig abattoir. The result is an hour-long, immersive eight-channel composition Landet (The Land), whose throbbing pulse draws us into the hypnotising universe of sound generated by livestock farming.

Karen Power and Loré Lixenberg: language land sea (2023, 35–40 min, German premiere)
Multichannel sound, video + live performance
Karen Power: composition, electronics, video
Loré Lixenberg: voice
Commission by Loré Lixenberg, supported by The Arts Council of Ireland

Jacob Kirkegaard: LANDET (2022, German premiere, 60 min) composition for eight-channel electronics

Part of the festival Time to Listen. The Ecological Crisis in Sound and Music

Saturday, 19 Aug 2023

8 pm



With Karen Power and Loré Lixenberg, Jacob Kirkegaard

€ 13/7

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