Gone to Ground
Site-specific playable composition for sonic biking (2016)
July 16, 2016, Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany
“Gone to Ground” is a site-specific, playable composition for sonic biking that invites the rider to tap into the different and simultaneous modes of experiencing the Tiergarten. This ground and these trees have taken on different meanings through the ages. As the aristocratic hunting grounds, it was once a place of killing, excitement, threat, and display of the power of these men and of man’s power over nature. The forest was experienced as a place of danger, as in the stories of the brothers Grimm. Now the Tiergarten is a place for leisure, a beautiful and peaceful refuge. But vestiges of these former lives of the park still live in this space and, in various ways, in our experiences of it. “Gone to Ground” invites the rider to tap into how they experience the Tiergarten today, while also resurrecting the forgotten meanings these grounds have taken in the past, of course still leaving room for play.
The Sonic Bike is an instrument invented by Kaffe Matthews which plays sounds and music that changes depending on where the cyclist goes and how fast they ride. It is simply a bicycle with speakers on the front and our GPS tracking audio system in a box on the back. Compositions are mapped to locations using this system, made in fragments and linked to different user determined zones across a city or landscape, each zone set to trigger a different sound or instruction as the bike rides in and then departs.