Hans Tutschku: Unreal Memories

  • Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, roof. Photo: Karl Hinojosa


Dec 4, 2012 – May 29, 2013
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts

Specially conceived for the rooftop of the Carpenter Center of the Visual Arts in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the building, Unreal Memories is composed of transformed voices of many different cultures. Original recordings served as models for computer transformations to create an imaginary intercultural journey, where voices from elsewhere come together. They call us, they celebrate, they open a short sonic window into our busy everyday lives.

In a note on Feb 2, 1960, Le Corbusier imagined for the building:

"Electric ringing sounds will be composed and emitted once, twice, three times a day, at fixed times, emission of a formidable nature of softness and of power."

When I read those notes, I imagined that the installation of sounding elements to the building would enhance our awareness of passed times and our relationship to other cultures. It was not my intention to create a historic realization of Le Corbusier's exact intentions. I took the idea as a springboard for my own artistic dreams. Particularly in light of the Harvard Art Museum construction site next door, I did not want to pick up on the idea of "formidable power" to compete with jackhammers. The softness of the voices will hopefully turn the site, for three short moments daily, into a place of imagined harmony.
-- Hans Tutschku

Unreal Memories can be heard daily at 11 am, 1 pm, and 5 pm, when in proximity to the building, at street level.

Hans Tutschku

Hans Tutschku was born in 1966 in Weimar. A member of the Ensemble für Intuitive Musik Weimar since 1982, he studied electroacoustic composition at the Dresden College of Music. Beginning in 1989, he had the opportunity to participate in several concert tours with Karlheinz Stockhausen to learn the art of sound direction. In 1991-92 Tutschku continued his studies in sonology and electroacoustic composition at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. In 1994 he spent a one-year study residency at IRCAM in Paris. From 1995-1996 he was guest professor of electroacoustic composition in Weimar and in 1996 he participated in composition workshops with Klaus Huber and Brian Ferneyhough. Tutschku taught electroacoustic composition at IRCAM in Paris from 1997 to 2001, and at the Conservatory of Montbéliard from 2001 to 2004. In May 2003 he completed a doctorate (PhD) with Professor Dr. Jonty Harrison at the University of Birmingham. During spring term of 2003 he was the Edgar Varèse Gast Professor at the TU Berlin. Tutschku is the Fanny P. Mason Professor of Music and Director of the Harvard University Studio for Electroacoustic Composition (HUSEAC). He is the winner of many international composition competitions, including Bourges, CIMESP Sao Paulo, Hanns Eisler Prize, Prix Ars Electronica, Prix Noroit and Prix Musica Nova. In 2005, he received the culture prize from the city of Weimar.