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The Sound Bench: The Garden

During the Sustainability Week (3-8 May 2021) and until the 22nd of June, the bench will be placed in the Botanical Garden, where a site-specific sound artwork has been developed especially for the bench by the artist Jonna Hägg.

For several years Jonna Hägg has been exploring how the soundscape of the world in general is changing. Human sounds have become so pervasive on earth that we have created a third category just for them: anthropophony.

In many landscapes, anthropophony dominates and drowns out the sounds of nature. Everything we build, our machines, engines and houses create new sounds that are integrated into the landscape. In this way they create new soundscapes, new melodies of nature, the nature of today.

The starting point for the work is the garden as a musical composition and (thematic) disharmony.

I imagine that every landscape has its own melody, created by the surrounding geography and climate, an interaction between animals and nature. The melody can be deeply rooted in the creatures that live in these places, and if this interaction is disturbed, life in that place also changes. Trying to preserve all these unique melodies in the landscape is as important as preserving unique physical environments. Not only are a frightening number of plant and animal species becoming extinct due to human encroachment, but much of the natural soundscapes are in danger of disappearing. The different sounds of the animals are distributed across the sound spectrum so that the different sounds do not strike each other. Just like in an orchestra where everyone in the ensemble has a distinct place, animal sounds also have their given place. If you add two instruments that are too close to the register, the sounds will become indistinct and change, and may even fade out. This is happening here and now, as man and his machines take up more and more space in the sound world of nature.
Jonna Hägg 

The sound installation is a collaboration between the Sound Environment Centre, the Botanical Garden in Lund and the Inter Arts Center, which produced the installation. Jonna Hägg is educated at Malmö Academy of Fine Arts.