The Sound Laboratory: These machines from the past might shape the future

af | 6. jul 2023

Strøm and Art Music Denmark are collaborating on a sound art project that looks into the past – and very possibly the future, too.


Strøm and Art Music Denmark are launching the project ‘The Sound Laboratory’ (Lydlaboratoriet) which aims to preserve and activate Denmark’s cultural heritage of sound art, allowing new artists to benefit from the tools and machines that shaped the expressions of several electronic sound artists in the 1970s and 1980s.


The Sound Laboratory: Old machines will be brought back to life – in new surroundings

In the spring of 2023, Strøm and Art Music Denmark organized the event ‘Opening the Sound Treasure!’ where audiences could listen to a series of works by the legendary sound artist Gunner Møller Pedersen. Some of these works had not been listened to by an audience for several decades. Some of them had never been performed in front of an audience before.

Prior to this event, Strøm has collaborated with Gunner Møller Pedersen to digitize over 100 of his works to prevent them from being lost forever.

The project ‘The Sound Laboratory’ is a remarkable follow-up of all this, with Gunner Møller Pedersen lending us a large amount of the machines and electronic instruments he has used over the years to create his own works. In addition, DTU (Technical University of Denmark) and others have donated several musical devices and machines to the collection as well. The equipment has been collected in cooperation with Maple Pools.

All these machines that shaped the sound art practices from 40 to 50 years ago are now collected in a room at Musikhuset København (The Music House København) on Vesterbrogade. And now, new artists and composers will have access to these tools and instruments.

Over the next three months, the musicians Anton Friisgaard and Guðjón Andri will experiment with the borrowed machines in the provided space at Musikhuset København, exploring the possibilities, the sounds and the musical expressions they can achieve with them.


The machines of the past might shape the future

With this project, Strøm and Art Music Denmark aim to both preserve and activate the cultural heritage associated with the many electronic devices used several decades ago. By preserving the musical machines of the past, the goal is to ensure that our memory of the history of sound art in Denmark is not lost. But an even more important aspect of the project is to look ahead and explore how access to this heritage might influence the creation of experimental electronic music and sound art in the future.


This is your chance to come time-travel with us: Join the Strøm Festival Launch Party

At the Strøm festival 2023 Launch event at Glyptoteket, you get to listen to Gunner Møller Pedersen’s masterpiece ET LYDÅR, created on those very machines. Join us!

Strøm Festival Launch: 31st of August at 17.00-20.30 at Glyptoteket
Portrait conversation in the Central Hall ‘Gunner Møller Pedersen 17.00 – 18.30 (in Danish).
Experience A SOUND YEAR (A SOUND YEAR) in the Winter Garden of Glyptoteket (played continuously from 10.00 – 21.00).
Enjoy GLASS MUSIC at the roof terrace bar from 17.30 – 20.30 pm.

A SOUND YEAR was played regularly from 1977 to 1999 in Glyptoteket – which amounts to more than 575 times. It features 12 movements, one for each month of the year. The work has travelled the world and is regarded both in Denmark and Europe as a masterpiece of electronic music. The composition of A SOUND YEAR took five years (1977-82). 

About Art Music Denmark
Art Music Denmark (formerly known as Snyk) is one of four Danish genre organizations funded by the Danish Arts Foundation, with the aim of creating favorable conditions for each respective area. The genre organization works with the fields of contemporary composition music, classical music and sound art, providing professional advice, residencies, and project development.