Category Archives: works

Listening to the Universe – Radiophonien des Alls

Listening to the Universe – Radiophonien des Alls  

A radio art festival by Datscha Radio.
Realised by Gabi Schaffner, Helen Thein, Kate Donovan and Niki Matita

Every year in August, the Northern Hemisphere’s night sky is graced by meteor showers – the Perseids. Datscha Radio used this astronomical spectacle as the departure point for a 48-hour festival of radio art, from moonset at 2:04 pm on August 11, until 2 pm on August 13, 2020. 

Datscha Radio – a non-commercial, independent, nomadic and interdisciplinary Berlin radio art initiative – has been engaged in expanding the culture of radio creation since 2012. It aims to create new listening experiences beyond the dichotomies of culture/nature and sender/receiver. It is transmitted from an allotment garden in the north of Berlin. 

“Listening to the Universe – Radiophonien des Alls“ was dedicated to themes and music inspired by the phenomenon of the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle.

With a broad spectrum of topics – from cosmogonical myths to the signals of meteor detectors, from starlight-inspired violin improvisations to experimental horoscopes – Datscha Radio traced the path of these ‘falling stars’ to their manifestations in space and matter as the fictions and artistic responses that are bound up with them. 

A documentation of our shows will be uploaded on mixcloud in due time.

Séance Fiction – Oct 4

Pleased to announce my participation in the exhibition “Seance Fiction”, curated by Eva Schwab. The performance “Fazzoletto per un Eternità” will take place on Sunday, Oct 4, 4 pm.

With: Niina Lehtonen-Braun, Mathias Deutsch, Liat Grayver, Zohar Fraiman, Michael Kalmbach, Justine Otto, Heike Kelter, Catherine Lorent, Eva Schwab, Caro Suehrkemper.

Duftgesänge

Pleased to announce that the German version of my 2019 “10 (S)Cent Poems” has been accepted for production by deutschlandfunk Kultur (German National Radio). Such, a new “Wurfsendung” is coming up. Curated by Julia Tieke.

Duftgesänge
Poems, recording & composition: Gabi Schaffner
Voice: Hans Kellett
Will we manage before the blooming season ends? Ms Schaffner hopes so!

Lavendel Lavendel Lavendel

Ein Duft steigt auf und rundet sich
schwebt in der Luft und weitet sich
wie ein Ballon…
So breit und weit
Wie der nächtliche Garten
Von einem Winkel
Zum anderen.

Oh würziges Amor-Aroma!
Du weckst die Damen aus der Ohnmacht
Du schöpfst den Trost ins müde Herz
Du bringst den Schlaf
Vertreibst die Pest.
Du wirst geliebt
Vom Hummelvolk
Und den Bienen.

Lavendel Lavendel

Du wehst davon in Wellen
Lavendel-Ballon
Du wehst davon in Welten
Verschwenderisch veränderlich

Ich atme
aromatisches Szenario,
veränderlich verschwenderisch…


Sleepertown Mobile Art

Rapid(s)Trains, a set of four new compositions, has been selected as one of the sonic artworks to be featured at OPEN GOREY, “Sleepertown”, a mobile art event in Gorey, Ireland.

Sleepertown will utilise mobile technologies (Geo-Fencing) to create a parallel listening world, accessed digitally within the public realm. This world will coexist with our ‘real-world’ geographical landscape and will encourage people to move through the town of Gorey to specific spaces/places. As they move, they will trigger and immerse themselves, in new public installations/sculptures/interventions/artworks via their personal mobile devices.

Opening: September 18, 2020
Curator: Richard Carr

Album Out: June 1

  • Title: “Mauricio Pucci (1899-1926) Fazzoletto per un eternità. Pandemic New Music”
  • By: Gabi Schaffner. Raw Audio Productions 2020
  • Compositions and sound recordings: Gabi Schaffner
  • Participating musicians: Claudio Commandini, Hannes Wienert, Mimosa Pale, Rosanna Lovell
  • Edition with printed cover, insert, 180 grams vinyl: 200 copies
  • Artist’s edition with hand-printed silkscreen cover, 180 grams vinyl: 100 numbered copies
  • Price: 22 Euro regular/60 Euro collector’s item. Advance orders from: 1 June 20

Press info in English language will follow in a short while. Stay tuned 🙂

Cover of Fazzoletto per un eternità

May 17: “Radio Garten” at Kunstradio Vienna

How does making radio in the garden sound like? Between bugs and beetle bread, under the spell of the moon, in the small hours of the morning. How can the garden and its ecologies resound in radio?

These questions lay at the core of my archival and radiophonic investigations of what “makes” Datscha Radio special. On commission of Kunstradio Vienna a 51 minute sound collage was put together, to be broadcast on
– Mai 17
– 23 pm CET
https://oe1.orf.at/programm/20200517/598436/Datscha-Radio-ein-Radiogarten
– Produced by: Elisabeth Zimmermann

Includes excerpts of Datscha Radio 2017 and the Nightgardening series 2019 plus additional material. Datscha Radio Berlin is realized with Kate Donovan, Helen Thein and Niki Matita.

In A Nutshell

Für die Eröffnung des neuen Sendestudios des frbb am 31. März 2020 im Haus der Statistik am Berliner Alexanderplatz hat Datscha Radio die 10-minütige Radioklangkollage „Datscha Radio in a Nutshell“ beigesteuert, die auf datscharadio.de nachgehört werden kann.

Listen Here: datscharadio.de

Komposition und Bearbeitung: Gabi Schaffner 2020. Länge: 10 min
Mit #NikiMatita#KateDonovan#Ryan McFadyen #Frieder Butzmann #MichaelaSchimun#gabischaffner#UlrikeStoehring#SarahWashington#CatherineLee#Yi-ChunLiu #MabelWang#Ming-ChunCheng #RomiCasile#AlbertoGarcia#EvaKurly#BerlinerChorSinglust#HannesWienert#MimosaPale, #FXSchroeder#kateraugustin

The Lion Dreams Of Hunting

Ms Schaffner is pleased to announce that her composition “The Lion Dreams Of Hunting” forms part of EARLID’s latest online exhibition of 12 pieces about dreamscapes, THE DREAM HAD ME: http://www.earlid.org/posts/the-dream-had-me/. Get lured into your favourite lucid state!

Quick update: THE DREAM HAD ME will be broadcast by Wave Farm in May 2020. More info in short notice.

Thank you for including my work, Joan Schuman.

Radio works at Borealis Festival

A quick announcement: “The Dog That Licked Up A Star” has been selected by the Radiophrenia team in Glasgow to travel the airwaves of the Borealis Festival’s “Radio Space”. Also featured: “The Journey of the Earthworm” (a widely traveling specimen indeed) and “The Night of the NIghtingales” by Datscha Radio (featuring very wonderful story readings by Kate Donovan, many Berlin nightingales on a rainy predawn morning and the gruesome story of Philomena).

DIe kleinere Verpuffung

Warum Frankfurts Stadtteil Fechenheim früher 56 Vereine hatte, weshalb die dortige Hühnerfarm keine ist und was es sonst mit kleineren Verpuffungen so auf sich hat, das weiß alles Harry Hoppe.

hr 2019 | 35 Min. | Erstsendung
[“A Smaller Deflagration”: Translation not available]

1950 zugezogen als “Eingeplackter”, betätigt er sich in Fechenheim seitdem als Berater, Seniorensicherheitsbeauftragter, Blumengießer, Vereinsgründer und vieles mehr. Die in Berlin lebende Performerin und Radiomacherin Gabi Schaffner, 1965 in Frankfurt geboren und in Fechenheim aufgewachsen, lässt in ihrem Hessen-Hören-Stück den Klang ihrer ersten Heimat vor allem durch Harry Hoppe erzählen, ummantelt, über- und untermalt durch Vor-Ort-Geräusche. Der Dank der Autorin gilt: Harald Hoppe, Richard Schaffner, dem Verein Vereinigte Geflügelzüchter 1897 und dem Tierschutzverein Frankfurt und Umgebung von 1841.

Sendung: hr2-kultur, The Artist’s Corner, 11.01.2020, 23:00 Uhr.

The Scented Lichen

With Julia Drouhin (France/Tasmania). A weird story and a weirder sound piece. Based on several failed experiments in the transposition of plant’s chemical ingredients into random melody, lost and found field recordings and the sound and scents of a waffle iron. (Lan: F) 18 min.

“La Lichen Parfumée” was broadcast as part of radia.fm’s # 760 transmission “Of seeds and lichen” (with Kate Donovan) in October 2019. Production: Verena Kuni, radio x, Frankfurt

Listen here: http://radia.fm/2019/10/show-760-of-seeds-and-lichen-by-kate-donovan-gabi-schaffner-for-radio-x/

Night Gardening I-III

The night is, far more than the day, a sphere of transmission. Fragrances and odours are perceived more strongly, the ear is sharpened, the superiority of the visual recedes.
Since its inception, Datscha Radio has paid special attention to the night. In the three-part event series NACHTGÄRTNERN [NIGHT GARDENING], Datscha Radio intends to fill the living space of the night in a synaesthetic and radiophonic way. Each station is located in a different garden in Berlin. We will broadcast live, from exactly sunset to sunrise. (Depending upon transmission date, the transmitting time will vary).

I The Night of the Nightingales (April 30th) Datscha Radio explores the essence of the night on the first evening with a focus on the nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos). April 30th, 20.32 – 5:33, May 1st, 2019.
II Frequencies and Fragrances ( (August 8th) Datscha Radio will take one step further in its radio-sensory exploration of the nightly garden. How may scents translate into radio? August 8th, 20:46 – 5:39, August 9th
III Night Walks, Rituals and Ceremonies ( (October) 21st of October, 5:57 pm – 22nd of October 7:45 am.
Uneven ground, restricted view, in the truest sense of the word unforeseen obstacles: Walking in the dark activates different abilities of our senses and physics. Body boundaries shift and expand, and with them also thinking and imagination go new ways…

Sneeze Music Performance / Editon

A record player dressed up as a ghost? NEW PANDEMIC MUSIC and the Sneeze Symphonies of Mauricio Pucci finally stepped into the open. The 30 min of lecture performance included the introduction of his (her) life and work as well as the playing of “Fazoletto per un Eternità” and “Moccio Oscuro”. For the first time ever, the mysterious copy of his original shellac disc surfaced.

The performance happened within the frame of “Biegungen im Ausland”, Berlin. 4th of October 2019

In celebration of (more!) women in New Music and composition arts, a silk screen-printed edition of “Pandemic Music” has been published.
While the “original copy” is not for sale, this was (sold out):

7″ single
14 compositions
Playing time: 8 min
Hand-printed cover, inner sleeve and label and handkerchief
No. of copies: 4
Art work, printing, manufacturing and everything else: Gabi Schaffner

Radio Seed Bombs

On the evening of the award ceremony, Datscha Radio will release three radiophonic loops at Humboldthain Club, that can be captured on site with radio receivers.
“Radio Seed Bombs” is an acoustic cross-pollination and self-fertilization in one, conceived by radio artists Kate Donovan, Niki Matita and Gabi Schaffner.

“In “Seed Dispersal”, Kate Donovan explores the sounds and stories of various seeds on their journeys through water, air, and bodies: a cosmos of dispersal, told in radio snippets and sent upon a breeze. With sounds and voices from Pablo Juanes; Molly, Hunter & Scout.

Niki Matita presents “Babosa”: Eine Erkundung der Welt jener ungeliebten Gartenbewohnerinnen, die in vielen Menschen Ekel und Unmut hervorrufen. Niki Matita untersucht, ob, und wenn ja wozu, Nacktschnecken nützlich sein können, welche kulturelle und spirituelle Bedeutung ihnen zukommt und welche Abhilfe es gegen sie gibt.

With “Gymnospermia”, Gabi Schaffner will broadcast an illustrious potpourri of Sicilian fruit descriptions, seed sounds, lawnmower microsymphonies, and tiny garden soundscapes in fourteen miniature compositions. With the voices of: Paolo Cavarro, Hans Kellet, Dirk Heiden, Kate Donovan and Margarita (courtesy Romila Casile)

NIghtShadeWalk

Pleased to announce that there will be a new audio walk especially designed for the Walking Tour Library that is curated by Yael Sherill and Lianne Mol.

NightShadeWalk deals with unforeseen adventures on a (traffic) island and its vegetal inhabitants. Starting from the 6th of September.

In September 2019, The Walking Tour Library will be the hub for a series of urban walking tours, newly conceptualized by contemporary international artists who will guide visitors through the city in an unusual and creative way. The project space* will be the organizational center of the project: here, the participating artists and their newly conceptualized paths through Berlin will be introduced in a group exhibition, and an archive of past tours and materials on the history of the urban walking tour as an artistic medium will be installed.

The Dog That Licked Up A Star

Originally composed for the Radiophrenia festival in Glasgow in 2019. there exist two different mixes: One for Radiophrenia (broadcast on May 23) and the other one (Orchid mix) for radia.fm’s. Show #733. Hosted by radio x, Frankfurt, Verena Kuni.
Length: 27:30 min. 

The Dog That Licked Up A Star is a radiophonic suggestion for deceleration. The composition features (among others) a singing dog from the town Hengchun, in the South of Taiwan. While I sat in the patio listening to his voice, a cloud passed. The other afternoon I sat under a tree next to the lake of Luan and recorded short wave radio in the rain. The dog and I also went up to Maokong mountain in a gondola where we met with Mr. Hu and the Orchid Lady. On the way down we noticed something glittering in the mud. It was a tiny star.

Recordings for this piece were made in: Treasure Hill Artist Village, Bamboo Curtain Studio and Maokong mountain in Taipei; Yilan, Yilan District; and in Hengchun and Hengchun Folk Museum, Houbihu and Longluantan, Pingtung District, South Taiwan.

Voices: Mr Hu is the eldest inhabitant of Treasure Hill Village. 93 years old, he likes to study books on the history of China and he loves to sing to the ladies. Translator: Catherine Lee, director of Taipei Artist Village (TAV). Margaret Shiu is the founder and artistic director of the Bamboo Curtain Studio, an ecologic artist residency in Tamsui, New Taipei. Excerpt is taken from our “Plum Tree Talk”, February 2019.

Datscha Radio Taipei

In January 2019 Datscha Radio traveled to Taiwan. As one of the selected artists for the Treasure Hill Artist Residency 2019 I was invited to perform research and radio art on site.
Six episodes of Datscha Radio explored, together with local artists and residents, the ecology of Taiwan.
Among others I was happy to collaborate with the following artists:

Gabriele de Seta
Margaret Shiu

Rewat Panpipat
Wu Tsan Cheng

Christine Muyco
Fujiu Wang
Lu Yi
Hauyu Yang
Mark van Tongeren
Laila Fan
Yannik Dauby
Hsu Yenting

Lori Huang + Sze-Ting
and still many more.

The audio archive of our broadcast can be accessed on:
https://www.mixcloud.com/datscharadio17/drt-6-waste-culture-1/


Place: Treasure Hill Artist Village, Taipei
Time: 11th January – 11th March 2019

Unearthing The Archive

Neighbourhoods, networks and radio – the thing that they all have in common is that the fine threads of their connections are only visible as temporary events: in celebrations and festivals, in exchange and support. They are organic by nature; they can expand, contract, divide, they need care and pathways… similar to a garden, whose inhabitants make contact above, as well as underneath, the ground. Datscha Radio’s installation “Unearthing the Archive” traces what’s below the surface, and the communality of these networks. For the exhibition at c/o Kunstpunkt, Datscha Radio is earthing and reassembling its archive, and allowing it to resonate.

“Unearthing the Archive” transmits performative pearls, linguistic matter, and music from the micro/macro cosmos of human as well as vegetal neighbours. Between molehills and mobile radios, deck chairs offer visitors the opportunity to make themselves comfortable and listen in to selected shows transmitted from the archive.

The group exhibition RAUMOHNERAUM #3: In the Neighbourhood at c/o Kunstpunkt Berlin was part of an exhibition series organised by the Netzwerk Freier Berliner Projekträume und -initiativen e. V..

Artistic Archivists: Gabi Schaffner, Kate Donovan, Niki Matita, Helen Thein
Featured DR artists on Mole Loops: Frieder Butzmann, Carolina Carrubba, Joaquín Diaz, Alberto García, Anna Katarina Martin, Eva Kurly, Ryan McFayden, Plants and Empire, Suetzu Flight Master’s Whistle, Martha Zapparoli

Datscha Radio Madrid: Un Jardin en El Aire

Radio Gardening in Madrid: The residency involved research and documentation work on local (urban) gardens as well as the realisation of a Madrid Datscha Radio off-shoot.The one-day radio station was installed in a geodetic tent in the community garden in Lavapies, “Esta Es Una Plaza”.

All reports, diaries and observations on Madrid’s urban gardening communities, its historic parks and a documentation of the Datscha Radio events staged at „Esta es una Plaze“ are accessible online on datscharadio.de. A publication with Medialab Prado is in preparation.

Participating artists: Alberto García, Anna Katarina Martin, Carolina Carrubba, Eva Kurly, Joaquín Diaz and the gardeners.

Tech / logistics: Jesús Jara (MediaLab Prado) / Maite Camarro (In-Sonora 10). Streaming support: Udo Noll, aporee.org.

Anagrams For Work Places

The compositions explore the several terms taken from the vocabulary of work environments. From “soft skills” to “expense factors”, from “manpower resources” to “motivation coaches”, I always had the eerie feeling that the anagramatic potential of these weird terms holds a different world of meanings. The melodies for this were computer generated via the P22 letter-to-note music generator, the voices are synthetic as well. Selected field recordings complement the tracks. Ten pieces with a duration of less than 45 seconds. Commissioned by Deutschlandfunk Kultur. Part of the “Wurfsendungen”, online and on air from the 8th of October 2018.

Anagrammatische Landschaften zur Arbeitswelt

Image: Stamped anagrams on paper, ca. 2002. The single words translate into: work station mushroom sensor fissile time snitch mutation heel reptile lightning apart exploding meringue stable trapeze parabel sits

Datscha Radio 17


A five-day festival celebrates the future(s) of the garden and broadcasts directly from an allotment garden in the Berlin north.
In August 2017 Datscha Radio broadcast again from my garden in Berlin Pankow, with the joint support of Freie Radios Berlin Brandenburg (frbb).

Datscha Radio 17 was realised by: Gabi Schaffner, Kate Donovan, Niki Makita, Helen Thein, Suki Shanti Osman und Verena Kuni.

Studio Support: Studio Ansage, Pi Radio (both FRBB)

With “Plots and Prophecies – Parzellenprognosen” Datscha Radio 17 created an interdisdiplinary program broadcast 24/5 from the 25th – 29th August 2017 – on stream, via micro FM and on selected days on 88.4 (90.7 in Potsdam). Aligned with the length of the festival, the radio makers, artists and guests focused on five subject areas:

  • Hortus Politicus
  • Symbioses
  • Biotopes in Future Perfect
  • Birds and Bees
  • Subterranean Meditations

The process of radio making – otherwise quite a hidden event – became transparent in the Datscha’s winter garden and outside studio transforming the privacy of the garden into a public space for art and communication. Datscha Radio 17 was supported by the Pankow Amt für Weiterbildung und Kultur and the Hans and Charlotte Krull Foundation. The format “Midday Discussion” was developed in cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation Berlin. Streaming support came from Udo Noll, aporee.org.

Complete documentation available here.
Press articles can be viewed here.

Fazzoletto per un’ eternitá


Handkerchief For An Eternity. New Pandemic Music and the Life of Mauricia/o “Farfalle” Pucci.
The compositions explore the musicality of sneezes within the field of New Music. Parallel to the introduction of “pandemic music” an imaginary biography of the composer was developed. Commissioned by Deutschlandfunk Kultur and Ars Acustica Group 2017.

Quite a different “walk on the wild side” offers this documentary about the Italian new music composer Mauricio Pucci. Born in 1890 as a girl in a Tuscan village, she ran away and decided to take on the identity of a man. Fate sees her falling in love with New York composer Charles Griffe who later died of influenza. Back in Naples, Pucci founded the world’s first „Sneeze orchestra“ but found a comparatively early end in 1926.

The only surviving set of (longer) compositions, titled „Fazzoletto per un’eternita“ was broadcast with in the frame of an Ars Acustica Project on EBU Concert Season Anniversary in November 2017.

A set of (very much shorter) pieces is available as part of deutschlandfunk’s „Wurfsendungen“ under the title „Sneeze Fantasies“.

„Sneeze Fantasies“ and „Fazzoletto per un’eternita“ form both part of a new biography and music project by Gabi Schaffner aka Sisukas Poronainen.

Song For Gretchen

Stereo installation for 2 mono speakers in 2 birdhouses. “Song for Gretchen” was created within the frame of the Frankfurt “Osterspaziergang”. Contrary to the wide reception of Goethe’s famous “Easterwalk” poem, the attention is directed towards the biography of Susanna Margareta Brandt who was sentenced to death under the accusation of murdering her child.

The 16th of April 2018 found Faust’s poor Gretchen singing in the garden of the Willemer Häuschen in Frankfurt/Main: On occasion of Easter celebrations and Goethe’s famous “Easter Walk” poem the curators Annette Gloser and Robert Bock invited 11 artists to create art works along a historical parcours of Frankfurt’s Goethian landmarks. In an adaption of the old German kitchen song „Mariechen saß weinend im Garten“ Shanti Suki Osman’s and Ulrike Stoehring’s voices sounded out into the place where Goethe met Marianne von Willemer in 1814.

Electric Fairy Grounds

TRAP (Topographic Radio Art Play). Installation for three radio transmitters camouflaged as bird houses on occasion of the Sound Art Exhibition “Phantasmagoria” in Bogong Village, Australia, 2017. Curated by Madelynne Cornish and Philipp Sarmartzis.

In November 2015 I started first interviews with former inhabitants of Bogong Village, among them Anita Martin who spent almost her entire childhood there. Further conversation partners were a former engineer as well as the current landscape gardener.

Old and new recordings are collaged on-site and combined into a story in three chapters. Each chapter is linked to a specific location . Total length of the story scape: 18-25 Minutes.

The bird boxes were installed near Junction Dam, next to the old tennis court and next to “the uncanny tree” on the other lake side. Analogue to the ancient concept of the Dreaming, the multiple identities of Bogong become only accessible by taking a walk that bridges past and present.


HIdden Places


Narrated landscapes in Iceland and Australia
Commissioned by Deutschlandfunk Kultur 2016. Composition and text.
Phonurgia Nova Fieldrecording Award 2016: Honorable Mention.

Hidden Places is a cluster of 18 compositions centered on the idea of “wilderness” descriptions from Iceland and Australia.

The concept of landscape is manmade, and it is predominantly Western culture that defines our notion of nature. As a free form poetic quest Hidden Places examines the ways how this is done and it does so by asking people for their stories.


Selbstgemachtes Leben

Der Tapir im Birkenwald. DLF Kultur.
Production: Tina Klopp.
“Selfmade Life”, that’s how the Finnish term “ITE” – Itse Tehti Elämä – translates. Erkki Pirtola who died in January 2016, was obsessed with his life-long project to document on the self-taught artists populating the remote corners of Finland. He produced thousands of video tapes. I was told that a person working daily on Pirtola’s archive would need up to 4 years just to catalogue the material.


Erkki died at the age of 65 – and very suddenly. This feature is my homage to this extraordinary artist and friend. Music: FX Schroeder et al.


Journey Of The Earthworm

Based on an interview with the Finnish artist Teuri Haarla about the beneficial qualities of earthworms. Microtonality and theatrical elements are combined into a 20min audio-lsd-trip.
Originally created for radia.fm. Show #592. Hosted by radio x Frankfurt, Verena Kuni. The „Earthworm“ was featured within the frame of the Radiophrenia Festival, Glasgow 2016 and at Documenta14 Public Radio, 2017, curated by Knut Aufermann and Sarah Washington.
Length: 27 min.

The earthworm travels on radio frequencies, earthy hacks and conglomerates of audio matter. S/he passes through mosquito clouds (yes, this earthworm can fly!), bird songs, thunderstorms, attends a Finnish summer theatre show, listens to a boy and his mother singing, visits the acoustic remnants of a German garden show, finds happiness in the ringing of porcelain bells and, finally, merges into silence and is gone.

Voices: Teuri Haarla, interview at Galerie Hilbertraum, 16th January 2016, Berlin, Germany; Unknown but stunningly convincing actors of a “kesäteatteri” 2010 in Mid Finland; Gibrain and Virpi Nurmi, Gießen, Germany, 2014.

Supplemented by a series of cartoons.
Documenta14 broadcast. Listen on Mixcloud:

Music4Trains

Everyone knows trains. They take you from A to B. And possibly back.
The train is a myth, not only as a means of transportation, but also as a reinvention of the concepts of time and speed. A train can also be considered as a narrative – with an open end and an open beginning. In between: a time-stream filled with acoustic imagery.

Kunstfrühling Bremen 2014. Galerie Herold.
Gabi Schaffner: Music4Trains – Installation and performance with Ansgar Wilken; Installation and intervention: The Fado Hour
Kuratiert von: Marion Bösen
Installation: 4 CD players, 64 Speakers in 4 clusters
Performance: with Ansgar Wilken (Cello)
Vinyl-Edition: 10 copies. Dubplate & handprinted cover.
Price 120 Euro (1 left)

In Music4Trains, the acoustic qualities of environmental, accidental sounds are used as musical elements. In turn, selected samples from the canon of modern composition got freed from their original structure and shred down to fragments of noise. I did so to show my appreciation for work already done in the field of “locomotive music”. At the same time, this rather casual choice reflects the thorough omission of another thousand of musical works done on trains.
The ‘classic’ fragments were spliced, looped, speeded up or down, hacked into, turned over or reversed, until they turned into an acoustic debris not unlike the stuff you find in the trackbeds between the blackish grid and those patches of sturdy, uncompromising vegetation.
Conversations, phone calls on platforms, loudspeaker announcements, children’s screams, the sticky scent of human presence. A violin played at Hauptwache Frankfurt, an opera singer practising in an underpass somewhere in New Zealand, Hamburg’s main station anti-junky classic muzak, freight trains passing through Bremen and Gießen stations, Polish workers taking their leave from Berlin. I have been travelling u-tube videos, sampling away on Hungarian passenger trains and on the archives of freesound.org. And I taped this sad and furious old lady on a train to Vienna.

I am in love with breaches, flaws, mistakes, gaps and of course: noise. All of this connect us to the intangible fleeting beauty of our daily lives that are made up of noises, sounds and an all-pervading music.
More unused field recordings of trains and stations rumble about on my hard drives, shifting there like restless sleepers in their digital trackbeds. These four pieces are what came into being for now. Anything more you’ll have to make up yourself.

100 Days Datscha Radio

Research and radio on the premises of the state garden show Giessen with a focus on German garden culture(s). A converted ex-GDR caravan served as our radio and research homestead. Realised with Pit Schultz and Gärtnerpflichten e. V., Gießen. Prize Artist Competition Landengartenschau 2014.

Our aim was the exploration of local traditions and perspectives of gardening while using a variety of documentary modes. In the course of our research a public archive was created consisting of ethnographic field notes, photographs, protocols, talks and sounds.

Instead of processing these multitudes of data into scientific knowledge they were instantly broadcast via the medium of radio. A so-called “Audiokomposter” developed by Pit Schultz decomposed the material and turned it into a continually changing soundscape. This process of composting and decomposition found its poetic counterpoint in the untamed growth of plants around the caravan. In August, a one-day festival invited guests and visitors to further discussion and participation.

Publication: Datscha Radio/Audiokomposter. In: Draussen, pp. 62-71.

Otto Mötö

Otto Mötö. Into the Universe of Finnish Motor Music. From
the Archives of Martti Mauri (1935-2003)

“Otto Mötö” deals with the archives of the fictitious engine researcher and avant-garde composer Martti Mauri (1935-2007), whose tracks were traded among insiders as forerunners of techno and “new media” music. “Otto Möto” is based solely on field recordings / samples of engine noise. The album experiments in composition, textual and pictorial material with the invention of a personality, his artistic work and embedding in the musical history of his country. The original recordings were made during my travels in Finland. Nine artists participated in the creation of Mauri’s compositions. The project received the support of the Finnish Kone Foundation, Finland, in 2011.

The radio play “Otto Möto” received the prize “Radio Play of the Month” of the German Academy of Performing Arts in 2012 and was broadcast internationally.

Datscha Radio – a garden in the air

“To create a garden for listening and international cooperation which appeals to all of the senses – this is the aim of Datscha Radio”

Datscha Radio 2012 was an art and culture project conceived of together with net activist Pit Schultz and Verena Kuni (Radio and Visual Media, Goethe University Frankfurt). We broadcast 24/8 around the clock on 24th – 31st of August on stream on datscharadio.de, via micro transmission in the garden and on 24th, 25th and 26th August from 8pm on on reboot.fm/88.4 FM Berlin.


Garden culture and Berlin culture belong together. The garden colony of the “Einigkeit” (Unitiy) was established as early as 1915. Less than 200 m from this garden and until 1989, ran the Berlin Wall that separated the Eastern “Rosenthal” from the Western “Maerkisches Viertel”. The “Datscha” (summerhouse) in the allotment garden No 665 was built in the mid-60s and has a floor space of approx. 60 sq.. The garden has 600 sq.. There are four patches for growing vegetables, two big flower beds, and several fruit trees on the lawn. Our radio program integrated local and international protagonists, artists, musicians, poets and guests.

Datscha Radio’s concept of “A Garden in the Air” extended on a variety of levels and contents: Participation of neighbors, hospitality, “garden kitchen”, sound art, live concerts and events, interviews and talks. Datscha Radio acted both as a meeting place and as a space for productions of art. Participating artists in the garden: More than 50 Berlin and international composers sound artists and radio makers answered Datscha Radio’s open call. Datscha Radio was realized with the support of the Amt für Weiterbildung und Kultur, Pankow. The project was realised in cooperation with the Berlin artist radio reboot.fm.

A complete documentation (bilingual) is available on: Datscha Radio – 8 Days of Summer Garden Radio


© Copyright Gabi Schaffner 2019 RSS
content managed by Stacey


Snow-Walks and Dances

Original Recordings of modern and traditional Finnish rituals and folk tunes. Vinyl, gruenrekorder 2005.

Recordings of Snow Music are rare, and even more rarely are they presented to a greater public. This may seem curious, considering that the Kalevala, the national epos of the Finnish people, explicitly mentions songs scooped out of the frost. Despite this lack of official presentation, snow tunes and rituals have been performed long before and after the publication of the Kalevala in 1835. This album now lays some of the finest examples of Finnish Snow Music in your hands. Most of the material originates from field recordings made in North Karelia and Lapland. The modern pieces were recorded in Helsinki, Turku and Tampere.

Snow Music can be performed in a variety of manners: traditional, modernist, eccentric. And a new generation of musicians has taken on the task of evaluating and redefining the older traditions of ritual tunes and word magic. The impact of Snow Music has grown with the increasing need for a musical identity incorporating the poetic universe of snow. With this compilation, Snow Music marks its entry into the 21st century.

“Finnish Snow-walks and Dances” embraces a combination of unaltered field recordings and modern compositions. A short narrative description highlights the particular circumstances of each recording. Number of tracks: 12. Concept, texts, images, music (partly): Gabi Schaffner. “Finnish Snow-walks and Dances” was broadcast by deutschland radio kultur (2005), HR2 (2006) and by ABC Australia (Soundproof, 2015)

Based on the music of one of the tracks a video was made in Hamburg, 2006. Costume and Camera: Cecile Noldus, Dancer: Laila Unger. (Quality is currently quite poor, a better version is in preparation.)