Space of Senses at Leopold-Mozart-Haus, Augsburg
BETTER SOUND 2020 | Categories: 3.2 Health, 3.4 Social & Culture, 7. Sound Art
The “Space of Senses“ allows impaired and unimpaired persons to dive into classical music finding a suitable physical way to enjoy and learn more about it. Loudspeakers and exciters, heterogeneous room acoustics and light trigger listening and searching through the final act of the museum’s acoustic scenography.
The “Space of Senses” (“Sinnesraum”) is a soundgarden in a museum. Vibrant and engaging, it proves that teaching music is mostly about inspiration and sharing the fascination of sound. Located on the top floor of the reopened Leopold Mozart Haus in Augsburg, Germany, the space provides a strong physical access to the world of classical music, triggering our senses and emotions. A place for social listening that contains music ranging from intimate chamber music to dramatic symphonies telling stories of sonic adventures in time and of the space.
Born in 1719, Leopold Mozart was the father of famous Wolfgang Amadeus but he was also known for his achievements as a composer, music teacher and writer of the famous all-time-classic “Gründliche Violinschule” (“Thorough Violin School“). He was raised in the small baroque craftsman’s house the museum is located in before he eventually left Augsburg and moved to Salzburg.
The permanent exhibition about the person and achievements of Leopold is laid out over all three levels of this building. It provides a high degree of plasticity and interactivity in its scenography. Historic every-day objects like clothing, furniture and also musical instruments provide a subtle context for an exceptional acoustic scenography that no one would expect. The visitors seem to accept it as self-evident in a music teaching household like the Mozarts’. Pianos and violins of all styles and ages are offered to play on. Exhibits like a composer’s desk to try out one’s own musical compositions add to the acoustic interactivity. In fact the visitors experience the soundscape of a music school that also hosts memorabilia of Leopold’s time.
At the end of the tour the „Sinnesraum“ serves as a sonic conclusion to all lessons learned and to all impressions gained – for everybody: young, old, impaired and otherwise. It is a dramatically lit void where no objects associate with the Mozarts, only with the music of their time. The main idea is to enable everyone to try different perspectives of listening to twelve pieces of curated classical music from the 18th century – without physical or social barriers. These perspectives could be introverted, resting or dissolving into abstract musical figures pouring through the space. Or they can be outgoing as one explores the detailed spatial acoustics, single instruments or melody lines laid out across the room.
Treating visitors as prosumers and listening individuals rather than consumers of classical music the „Space of Senses“ is designed as a stage for acoustic phenomena. It is not designed as a studio with a stereo-sweetspot but rather a garden of instruments and sounds to enjoy. It offers a very unconventional sonic buffet, rather than a presentation of curated music.