arbesbach 2016

is a cartographic performance. It was performed, recorded and filmed by myself in September 2016 in the Vienna Woods (Wienerwald) in Vienna, Austria.



In this cartographic performance I locate and expose sound within a spatial arrangement. I perform with my contrabass recorder in a specific site. The music is performed in a composed spatial setting based on in a series of previous improvisations in the same location.

In a cartographic performance, composed/musical and environmental sounds mix with what I hear inside. My mental activity – what I perceive, feel, notice, dream, and think – makes up an inner vocality. All sounds co-exist in my personal listening process during the performance and form a cartography of sonospheres. As a composer, I locate every sound in its specific (outer or inner) position.

embodiment as ‘enspacement’
the mind-body sounding takes her position in a specific location

This performance is a feminist action.
The personal is political.
I compose and perform politically.

Standing in the water during the performance, I listened to the ‘real world’: to the murmuring brook, to the cars passing by (clearly, we are in the anthropocene now), to birdcalls. 

I perceived my music as balanced within its environment: respecting the surroundings, neither a foreign object nor too close, it took a position of its own. At the same time, I listened to an inner sonosphere, to (my) mind. I noticed the warmth of sunrays on my shoulders, the cold water around my feet (through the boots), the joy of performing and handling my instrument in this environment. I remembered my childhood: I had often played in this brook as a young girl.

I reflected on precarious life and on my position as an artist, citizen, and woman within this precarious environment.


Precarious life is the title of an essay and book by Judith Butler (2004).

Pauline Oliveros has coined the expression sonosphere in her 2011 essay Auralizing the sonosphere: a vocabulary for inner sound and sounding.

Carol Hanisch has written her essay The personal is political in 1969.