Sound art

Urban Green (2011) USIT and Light Architecture

 The installation “Urban Green” was conceived in a collaboration between the Urban sound instiutute and Light architecture. The conceptual installation, located below a bridge in Stockholm, raises question about the connection between city-nature-culture as well as sensory impressions. The installation is based on a combination of sound, light and smell.

Sound design: Clas Torehammar, Tyréns, Björn Hellström, Urban Sound Institute. Light design: Isabel Villar, Joonas Saaranen. Light architecture about the project

Paradox parabol (2002) – Leo Nilsson and Lennart Andersson

The sculpture that landed from outer space. Listen to its mysterious electroacoustic drone as it hoovers at Tomarps Kungsgård, outside Helsingborg, since 2002. Originally, Paradox parabol used sensors that registered when someone approached, and accordingly started to play sound. The closer the sculpture you came, the louder it played. However, lately some drift disturbances occurred, and the sculpture sometimes needs to be started manually.


Leo Nilsson på Wikipedia

Tomarps kungsgård

Under Voices (2007) – China Blue

What is the sound of the Eiffel Tower? In the video you hear recordings made using designed seismic microphones, placed directly on metal surfaces in the tower. With this technique, the artist China Blue managed to capture a sense of an inner soul, a voice, never heard before. The unique, almost singing sound breaks out when the huge metal structure is touched by wind or when visitors stimulate resonance tones through their steps.


SubAqua (2009) – Åsa Stjerna

The artwork SubAqua was based on underwater sound recordings from the harbour basin in Hafencity, Hamburg. The work was presented on site through special loudspeakers shaped as periscopes. To make a visual allegory, the tubes might be called sound binoculars.

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Recall (2006) – Andrea Ray

Every day at 3 PM the artwork Recall rings over the old pastoral fields near Wanås, Scania. The tunes you hear are those of “kulning”, a form of singing traditionally used to call back cows from their pasture.
A historical postcard made from sound.

Kulning: Susanne Rosenberg. Read more

Andrea Ray

Diapason II (2009) – Christina Kubisch

This installation was inspired by tuning forks. It focuses on the interaction between the installation and its sorroundings (architecture, atmosphere, location). The place itself is being tuned. Ljudkullen is located in Scaniaparken by the western harbour in Malmö.

Discover Ljudkullen and Scaniaparken under projects. (Idea and implementation: City gardener Gunnar Ericson and Bo Andersson, Gatukontoret.)

The Sound Arts Program is since 2002 designed by the landscape architect Frans Gillberg and Starfield simulation. More info at Malmö Stad and on the website by artist Christina Kubisch.

A House For Edwin Denby (2000) – Robert Wilson

A solemn sonic atmosphere, reminding of the clang of an organ, lingers among the trees. Inside the little chapel you can hear a man reading a text, but the house is empty. Apart from an opened book on a table, and some lonely light bulbs hanging from the ceiling, there are no signs of residents.
You can not enter the house.

Permanent exhibition at Wanås Art, 2000 and forward.


Pianotrappan (2009) –

How do you make people fall in love with a staircase? Members of the project rebuilt one of the stairs at Odenplan subway station, Stockholm, to a huge piano. Thus, they got more people to turn down the escalator and instead gave them a thrilling discovery in their everyday life. The film about the installation has more than  22,000,000 views on youtube.


Colonizers of the undergrowth (2009) – Jana Winderen


Installation and performance during the exhibition Botanic sounds in Gothenburg 2009. The sounds you hear are from those small creatures you find just above, in or below the ground. The recordings are made with a hydrophone.





Harmonic bridge (1998) – Sam Auinger and Bruce Odland

In connection with a motorway crossing near the Museum of Contemporary Art, Massachussets, artists have put up a very interesting and useful piece of art. The rough traffic noice, previously making the space inaccessible, is now resonating through mounted organ pipes and creating tones. The harmonized traffic is played in loudspeakers inside concrete cubes beneath the bridge, and the area is radically changed.

Permanent installation.


Klangwäldchen (2007) – Åsa Stjerna

Just outside the Nordic embassy in Berlin, a group of birches got a new life through the installation Klangwäldchen by Åsa Stjerna. The purpose was to bring out the trees as individuals and to let them become something more than just plant material. The birches spoke with a sparkling voice, distributed via loudspeakers mounted high up in the trees.


SCALA – Mikael Strömberg

SCALA is a sound art installation at Gävle station. In one of the stairs, eight sensors are placed and when stepped upon they randomly trigger off different sounds.
Every sound is related to trains and/or travelling, and some of them are under the threat of extinction. The artist, Mikael Strömberg, used a musical scale of eight points as model when placing the sensors. The plates are sensitive to pressure, and the sound changes in proportion to the weight in the footsteps.


Strömberg’s website

Gallerian in Stockholm – Urban Sound Institute (USIT)

By using directed speakers and paraboles, the research group Urban Sound Institute (USIT) brings a welcome intermission to the busy soundscape in the mall “Gallerian”, Stockholm. The added background sound, changing over time, connects with the site-specific qualities in the mall, such as the reverberation in the hall. The installation creates variation in the sonic atmosphere. Not every visitor notices the audio enhancement, but it still awakens associations and offers a peace of mind. Apart from the venue documented here, two escalators are equipped with added sound.

Read more about the project (in Swedish): Arkitekten, SvD and ICity