Merzouga – 52°46′ North 13°29′ East / Music For Wax-Cylinders


CD – Gruenrekorder

Operating since 2002 as Merzouga, Eva Pöpplein and Janko Hanushevsky are two musicians familiar with performing laptop and instrumental improvisation – but their repertoire is not limited only to this: they have composed music for radio, cinema and theatre, mixing audio captures and materials of different origins. This is the case in their latest work, a project based on the recordings on wax cylinders at the Berlin Phonogram-Archive. The digitalized recordings of the last 15 years of the institution’s archive are free to use. In 52°46′ North 13°29′ East and Music For Wax-Cylinders we can find some unprecedented time sequences – the result of a unique collection. The collection was managed by Erich Moritz von Hornbostel, an ethnomusicologist who was pivotal in selecting and analysing the field recordings collected, creating a catalogue of more than 16,000 different documents from all over the world. Traders abroad and scientific expeditions were ordered by a Prussian edict to travel with a phonograph and send the recordings to Berlin. The recordings didn’t receive any specific support and can be considered to have similarities with the oral tradition, the main means of diffusion of Western popular music. The duo focuses their attention on something outside time that is difficult to define accurately. The work is the expression of audio concatenations playing on different levels, between crackles, shocks and winces: it’s a creative showdown between the past and the future, entirely aesthetic and happily citationist.


Merzouga | snippet #2