Virus_20

Project | Radioart (2020)
An acoustic walk through Vienna, which was recorded during the first week of the lockdown at places that before the corona crisis were always bustling and teeming with city residents and tourists, meets the virus series, which has been circulating across the globe since 2011.

Beneath the surface of the peaceful city a battle rages between the host and the deadly virus, while the beloved and welcome sounds of my viruses – the musicians – and my electronic scores – the host – come to the fore acoustically. (Elisabeth Schimana)

An Ö1 Kunstradio production
Sound technician: Martin Leitner

03 05 2020 23:03 Ö1 Kunstradio

The Protocol

Monday 16. 3. 2020
It is windy and drizzling, the bus to the city centre is practically empty. The first day of this strange quietness. I walk under the dome of St. Michael’s Gate, every movement, i.e. every sound, becomes an individual event, does not blend into the masses, single steps, a bicycle...
Virus #3.4 Mexico City 2019, Ex Teresa, also here a 28m high dome, my viruses - the Mexican ensemble Liminar.

Tuesday 17. 3. 2020
I walk along Mariahilfer Strasse (shopping boulevard). Isolated activity, here again, every movement takes on meaning. A suitcase rolling*, a phone call, birds...and construction sites, no doubt forgotten during the lockdown.
Virus #1.0 Kiev 2011, small opera hall, my viruses - the Ukrainian New Music Ensemble Ricochet.

Thursday 19. 3. 2020
A walk through the Brunnenmarkt (open-air market). Restrained activity, not all stalls are open, but meat is being chopped, ham is being cut. 
Virus #1.3 Judenburg 2014, Stadtsaal, my virus – the Austrian percussionist Igor Gross.

Having arrived at Yppenplatz, the hipster meeting place of the 16th district, I stand on the empty square, a short distance away a group of men talking in a language I do not understand. Time stands still.
Virus #2.4 Wellington 2018, Victoria University, my viruses - the New Zealanders Tristan Carter, Charley Davenport and Rob Thorn (Taonga Puoro/Maori instruments)

Friday 20. 3. 2020
I take the subway, hardly any people, it's easy to keep a distance. All those "don't come near me" looks. When I get to the Wurstelprater (amusement park), I sit down on a bench. In front of me a huge illuminated billboard with Covid-19 information. Here too, single voices, bikes... I continue on into the Wurstelprater, lost in thought, remembering all the mechanical sounds, and am stopped and told to leave the premises. Private security, only now do I realize that I am on private property. With some effort I manage to sneak back in, the Wurstelprater takes on a certain tenderness.
Virus #1.2 Vienna 2012, Alte Schmiede, my virus - the Austrian pianist Manon Liu Winter.

Easter Monday 13. 4. 2020
On the last day before the "New Normal" I walk to the city centre again, getting there just in time before the wind and rain start. I linger briefly at the Graben and then at Michaelerplatz. The fountain spews water, and on the next bench sits a woman. It is quiet, and yet beneath the surface it is anything but calm.
Virus #1.1 Vilnius 2011, youth club, my viruses – the Lithuanian Oboe Quintet

  • Prater

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  • Prater

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  • Michaelaplatz

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  • Michaelakuppel

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  • Mariahilfer Straße

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  • Mariahilfer Straße

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  • Heldenplatz

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  • Gasse 1010

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  • home office

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    Elisabeth Zimmermann presenting the show at her home office © Roland Hablesreiter