Ludwig Berger is a sound artist and composer based in Milan and Zurich. In his compositions, installations and performances, he engages playfully in more-than-human worlds such as beehives, microphones, glaciers, infrastructures, wind, strings or trees. He has released various albums of field recordings, drones and microscopic improvisations and composes music and sound for film, theatre and radio. He is curator of the tape label Vertical Music, runs a monthly radio show at Radio Raheem and is research assistant at the Institute for Landscape Architecture at ETH Zurich, where he investigates the sonic dimension of Japanese gardens, alpine glaciers and urban landscapes.
FIELDWORK Q&A – May 2020
How is fieldwork part of your practice?
Fieldwork is the core of almost everything I do. Whether I record sounds outdoors, improvise with acoustic instruments, reconfigure the sound of a brook, teach sound courses for architects in the field, or compose with a modular synthesizer. For me, fieldwork is a practice defined by a certain attitude, not by a certain kind of place.
How would you describe your fieldwork activity?
: It is about practicing attention instead of intention, studying and contemplating with an open mind, observing and playing patiently, listening and responding critically, looking for the point where perception and action become entangled, finding places where human and more-than-human actors can meet.
How are you currently sharing your fieldwork?
Currently I enjoy sharing my fieldwork through ‘text scores’, a format I like both for doing work as well in my courses at the Institute of Landscape Architecture. I also publish records of field recordings like a one hour recording of a singing tree, microscopic improvisations with different materials on a harp, or the sound of a melting glacier in the Swiss Alps. Additionally, I participate as a field recordist and sound designer in films like Fieldworking by Laura Harrington where artists spent five days in a bog, or Status and Terrain by Ute Adamczewski, which investigates the current state of early Nazi camp sites.