Sonic Topologies

Sonic Topologies
May 23, 2022 Ludwig Berger

Zurich, June 24-26, 2022

Site-specific festival for sound art, acoustic ecology and sonic architecture.

Reservoir Lyren, Alter Botanischer Garten, Wärmebad Käferberg, Zürichsee Cassiopeiasteg 

Detailed Programme and info:

How many ways are there to listen to a place? The festival “Sonic Topologies” unfolds the sounds of diverse sites in Zurich—a botanical garden, a swimming pool, a water reservoir and a lake shore. Artists, scientists and architects present site-specific concerts, talks and workshops that reveal hidden, overlooked and speculative sounds in the urban landscape.

Water bowls, voices and horns freeze in the endless acoustics of the underground water reservoir. Insects drum on plants of the Old Botanical Garden. Drummers on boats play with the waves of the lake. Listeners dive into a pool with an underwater soundscape of a melting glacier.

“Sonic Topologies” opens up spaces of shared sounding, listening and thinking and enables encounters across species and disciplinary boundaries. The festival explores new ways of engaging with the sound of the landscape—with a stimulating combination of site-specific sound art, acoustic ecology and sonic architecture.


Sonic Topologies Ticket Shop

Sonic symposium weekend pass (Includes both day programs in the botanical garden and the closing concert on the lake) (75 CHF/ 50 CHF)

Fr, June 24, 19:00: Opening Concert “Bodies of Water” Set 1, Reservoir Lyren (35 CHF/20 CHF*)
With Christian Zehnder, Institute of Landscape and Urban Studies and Tomoko Sauvage

Fr, June 24, 21:00: Opening Concert “Bodies of Water” Set 2, Reservoir Lyren (35 CHF/20 CHF*)
With Saadet Türköz, Hong-Kai Wang and Jen Reimer & Max Stein

Sat, June 25, 10:00: Sonic Symposium Day 1, Alter Botanischer Garten (45 CHF/25 CHF*)
With Ludwig Berger, Julian Henriques, Mélia Roger, Aio Frei & Franziska Koch, Salomé Voegelin & Magda Drozd, Banu Çiçek Tülü, Gilles Aubry and Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro, Alexandra Supper, Olga Kokcharova and Nicola di Croce

Sat, June 25, 18:00: Underwater Concert “Wet Sounds” Slot 1, Wärmebad Käferberg (35 CHF/20 CHF*)
With Joel Cahen, Li Tavor, Perila and Institute of Landscape and Urban Studies

Sat, June 25, 20:15: Underwater Concert “Wet Sounds” Slot 2, Wärmebad Käferberg (35 CHF/20 CHF*)
With Joel Cahen, Li Tavor, Perila and Institute of Landscape and Urban Studies

Sun, June 26, 10:00: Sonic Symposium Day 2, Alter Botanischer Garten (45 CHF/25 CHF*)
With Andres Bosshard, Lärmschutz Zürich, Patricia Jäggi, Rok Šturm & Juan López and Nadine Schütz

Sun, June 26, 20:00: Closing Concert “Acoustique Aquatique”, Lake Zurich (25 CHF/15 CHF*)
With Tomoko Sauvage, Fabian Gutscher, Julian Sartorius & Camille Emaille

* Reduced price for persons with lower income (no proof required)



“Ring lake piece” by Tomoko Sauvage

Collective composition for standing bells and amplified lake water

In the workshop with a public performance on the final day, a collection of standing bells from different regions of Asia will be played afloat on lake water and amplified by hydrophones set on the lake floor. In experimental process, the participants shape collectively a composition from a sketch proposed by Tomoko Sauvage. Participants will explore different configurations of listening systems using several types of microphones and diffusion/monitoring devices, as well as methods of performing, between improvised and composed, focusing on fluid movements of materials and environmental situations.

Workshop: Wednesday, June 22, 14:00-18:00 and Thursday June 23, 14:00-18:00 at Lake shore between Cassiopeiasteg and Rote Fabrik

Performance (incl. Rehearsal): Sunday, June 26, 16:30-21:00

Max. 12 Participants, 50 CHF participation fee. Registration



“The Flesh & the Phantom” by Hong-Kai Wang

A collaborative performance and convocation between two sites, two histories, & named and unnamed frequencies

Taiwanese sound artist Hong-Kai Wang invites workshop participants to engage with a collaborative process of studying, thinking, listening, recording and sounding, facilitated by a listening score proposed by the artist. The workshop will unfold over four days, leading to a concluding performance. Wang aims to establish a dialogue between Zurich’s reservoir with a controversial reservoir project in Meilung, Taiwan. The workshop participants will work with Wang to study sonic materials collected from the archive and Meilung in dialogue with the specific site of Lyren. The resulting piece will be performed in the opening concert of the festival.

Workshop: From Monday, June 20 until Thursday, June 23 (approx. 2-3 hours per day) at Wasserreservoir Lyren

Performance: Friday, June 24, 20:00-22:00

Max. 8 Participants, 50 CHF participation fee. Registration


Ludwig Berger (curation, booking and fundraising)

Fabian Gutscher (production and sound tech)

Andalus Liniger (production and sound tech)

Matteo Marangione (sponsoring, ticketing and research)

Johannes Rebsamen (production and hospitality)

Nicholas Schärer (management, production and fundraising)