4 R O O M S
CD - 52 minutes. TOUCH # Tone 26
This work is a sonic portrait of four abandoned rooms inside the 'Zone
of Exclusion' in Chernobyl, Ukraine
Recorded in October 2005, the sound of each room was evoked by an elaborate method: Kirkegaard
made a recording of 10 minutes and then played the recording back into
the room, recording it again. This process was repeated up to ten times.
As the layers got denser, each room slowly unfolded its own unique drone of various resonant frequencies
Jacob Kirkegaard's method is inspired by Alvin Lucier's work "I am sitting in a room"
, who recorded his voice in a space and repeatedly played this recording
back into that same space. In Kirkegaard's work, however, no human voice is
being projected into the rooms: during the recordings he left the four
spaces, to wait for whatever might evolve from these seemingly silent spaces themselves
4 ROOMS was released 20 years after the Chernobyl disaster,
26th of April 1986/2006
Touch # Tone 26
CD - 52 minutes
Launch event: 25/26th April 2006 @ The Marble Church, Copenhagen
Released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl
This is Jacob Kirkegaard's 2nd CD for Touch, after Eldfjall [Touch
# T33.20]. Born in Denmark, now living and working in Germany,
here he explores the sonic legacy of one of the worst man-made
disasters in human history.
The Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded on April 26, 1986;
clouds of radioactive particles were released, and the severely
damaged containment vessel started leaking radioactive matter.
More than 100,000 people were evacuated from the city and other
affected areas. Despite the fact that radiation is still being
emitted from the nuclear disaster site, the 900-year-old city
of Chernobyl survives, although barely. As of 2004, government
workers still police the zone, trying to clean up radioactive
material. Many — mostly the elderly — have decided
to live with the dangers and have returned to their homes in the
zone's towns and villages. Their population was highest in 1987,
when there were more than 1200 people. In 2003, there were about
400 and now 350 are registered. The effects on the environment
were catastrophic: huge areas of northern europe were dosed with
4 ROOMS - empty memorials
This work is a sonic presentation of four deserted rooms inside
the 'Zone of Alienation' in Chernobyl, Ukraine, recorded in October
Jacob Kirkegaard deliberately picked rooms that once were active
meeting points for people.
The rooms he found and recorded were abandoned abruptly, urgently,
and for good. Their inhabitants were evacuated by Soviet military
and were forced to leave all their belongings behind. On April
26th, 1986, the explosion of Reactor 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear
Power Plant had removed all possibilities of human survival in
Two decades after the event, Kirkegaard explores the phenomenon
of radiation with the medium of sound. By listening to
the silence of four radiating spaces he aims to unlock a fragment
of the time existing inside the zone.
SILENCE - unfolding in space
The sound of each room was evoked by an elaborate method:
Kirkegaard made a recording of 10 minutes and then played the
recording back into the room, recording it again. This process
was repeated up to ten times. As the layers got denser, each room
slowly began to unfold a drone with various overtones.
From a technical point of view, Kirkegaard's "sonic
time layering" refers back to Alvin Lucier's work
"I am sitting in a room" . He recorded his voice
in a space and repeatedly played this recording back into that
same space. In Kirkegaard's work, however, no voice is being projected
into the rooms: during the recordings he left the four spaces
to wait for whatever might evolve from the silence.
3. Swimming Pool
THIS WORK IS DEDICATED TO RIMMA KISELITSA (IN MEMORIAM)