Category Archives: works

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


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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.)