Sanatorium of Sound Festival 09

Time. Futurism. Revisions is the theme of the 9th edition of Sanatorium of Sound Festival. The festival will take place on 11-13 August in Sokołowsko. 

Sanatorium of Sound is a festival created by Zuzanna Fogtt and Gerard Lebik as part of the Contemporary Art Foundation Situ Foundation in Sokołowsko. The idea behind the festival is to present the broadest possible spectrum of phenomena related to the development of musical forms in the 20th and 21st centuries, maintaining a balance between the traditions of musical experimentation developed in recent decades and the new, as yet unstructured tendencies of sound art. Each year, the festival’s programme develops in multiple layers, including concerts, composer commissions, sound installations, performances, workshops, discussions, artist residencies and curatorial practices related to sound ecology, architecture, nature and medicine.

The importance and possibilities of sound are well demonstrated by the fact that the impulse leading to the revolution in 20th century art was the experience of the audiosphere of the modern metropolis. As Filippo Tommaso Marinetti wrote in The Manifesto of Futurism (1909): “We shuddered suddenly at the sound of the shrill noise of the giant double-decker trams”. He was echoed by Luigi Russolo in The Art of Noise (1913): “The life of the past was silence. Only in the 19th century, with the invention of machinery, was noise born. Today, noise triumphs and reigns sovereignly over the sensibility of people”.

In the visual and literary spheres, the concept of noise functioned as a capacious metaphor, making it possible to describe, for example, the pace of metropolitan life or the split in human subjectivity, but in music it was a factor that brought about changes of truly fundamental importance, as it made it possible to significantly expand the range of means of expression and the repository of forms, while also conceptually reworking the basic concepts of musical discourse. It was an important point of reference for Edgard Verèse, John Cage and Zbigniew Karkowski alike.


Today, noise is still a phenomenon. It appears in new incarnations, easily adapting to the realities of World 3.0. So it is not just about the ecology of sound, but about the whole area of phenomena related to the transmission of information, cyberspace, media, art. During this year’s edition of the Sanatorium of Sound, we want to return to the moment of the birth of noise, which manifested itself in the fiery proclamations of the Italian Futurists. In doing so, we will try to revise the history of the avant-garde, finding in it both inspiration and pointing to postulates which, from today’s perspective, seem reactionary or even politically threatening. We are looking for an answer to the question of what the new futurism would be and where to look for its roots, ideological and artistic sources.


A special event of the festival will be the opening concert at Kino Zdrowie, during which we will hear performances of new compositions commissioned especially for The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners – a sixteen-person ensemble led by the Italian composer Luciano Chessa, playing replicas of experimental instruments designed by Luigi Russolo (the so-called intonarumori). In collaboration with the Performa biennial, the Intonarumori Orchestra (16 instruments) is brought from New York for the occasion. The concert will take place on the 110th anniversary of the announcement of the Art of Noise manifesto, and festival composer’s commissions realized by John Hegre, Mariam Gviniashvili, Aleksandra Słyż, and Gerard Lebik will be performed by the orchestra composed of Klaus Holm, John Hegre, Jon Wesseltoft, Mike McCormick, Guoste Tamulynaite,  Magdaléna Manderlová, Mariam Gviniashvili, Martyna Kosecka, Teoniki Rożynek, Aleksandra Słyż, Martyna Poznańska, Piotr Peszat, Jacek Sotomski, Zosia Hołubowska, Gerard Lebik, Marek Chołoniewski and conducted by Luciano Chessa.The artists involved in The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners project will also present their solo works on the ambisonic, multichannel soundsystem of Biuro Dźwięku Katowice. Justyna Stasiowska and Szymon Szewczyk join the BDK. 


Australian composer and guitarist Oren Ambarchi, Robert Piotrowicz, who explores the world of modular music, Italian Valerio Tricolli, who uses reel-to-reel tape recorders, and Canadian sound artist crys cole, who works with composition, improvised performance and sound installation, will also present their noise-based musical visions. Magdalena Manderlova, Paweł Kulczyński and Sokołowsko-based artist Edka Jarząb will show an individual perspective on sound installations.


Austrian member of the Academy of Arts in Berlin Peter Ablinger, considered on of the most influential composers of contemporary music of the 20th century, will present: THE REAL AS IMAGINARY (2012), Beehive – sound sculpture, 2021, General Strike of Art, C-A-G-E or Music Mirror, and WEISS / WEISSLICH 25b/25c.


The programme will include the premiere collaboration of Lacking sound Fest and Electropixel Festival – SUBTROPICAL OSCILLATION II / ELECTROPIXEL ULTIMATE SOUND WAVES. French artists Jenny Pickett and Julien Ottavi will join forces with representatives of the Taiwanese music scene: Lai Tsung Yun, Huang Ya Nung, Lucia H Chung, YAN Sheng-wen. In addition, their solo audiovisual projects will be on display in the spectacular ruins of the former Dr. Brehmer’s Sanatorium.


The Czech experimental music scene will be represented this year by: Ursula Sereghy, Michal Kindernay and Aestum. In addition, non-standard approaches to club music will be presented by hermeneia, julek ploski, Avtomat and Sara Persico


There will also be publishing premieres; Valerio Tricoli’s album Silesian Seizures Showtimes – a concert recorded during his performance at the 2018 festival – will be released under the Sokolowsko Music label in cooperation with Bocian Records, as will the duo Keith Rowe and Gerard Lebik’s “Dry Mountain” released on Inexhaustible Editions.


A special series of lectures and discussions with artists and avant-garde researchers, curated by Wroclaw-based literary critic Paweł Szroniak, will be devoted to issues related to Futurism. The program includes talks on the reactionary avant-garde, considerations on the role of AI in art, the history of Intonarumori, and a discussion around Elena Biserna’s book Walking From Scores. Daniel Muzyczuk, Agnieszka Pindera, Joanna Sokołowska, Maciej Ożóg, Canti Spazializzati have confirmed their participation in the panels.


Each year, the festival’s programme develops in multiple layers, including concerts, composer commissions, sound installations, performances, workshops, discussions, artist residencies and curatorial practices related to sound ecology, architecture, nature and medicine. Since 2015, the festival has presented around 250 projects by artists from all over the world, many of which were commissioned during artist residencies in Sokołowsko, a spa town located in the Central Sudetes, where in the 19th century, in a building designed by the prominent architect Edwin Oppler, the German physician Dr Hermann Brehmer founded the world’s first lung disease sanatorium. The landscape of the mountains surrounding saSokołowsko, the post-German nineteenth-century architecture or the wonderful air have always been inseparable attributes of activities in the field of sound art and any reflection on sound arts. 


The programme of this year’s festival also includes projects initiated by HILO – Norwegian-Polish Platform for New Music Development – a platform created for cooperation between Polish and Norwegian artists, curators, educators and organisers working in the field of new music in the broadest sense.


The HILO project is realised by the In Situ Foundation for Contemporary Art and the International Cultural Laboratory in Sokołowsko. Partners of the project are nyMusikk – Norway’s centre for contemporary music, Sanatorium of Sound Festival, Only Connect Festival, Punkt Festival, University of Agder, Sokołowsko Jazz, Avant Art Festival, ŁAŹNIA Centre for Contemporary Art, Ładne Historie Foundation and the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk.


The HILO project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under Action 2 Improving access to culture and the arts of the Culture Programme within the framework of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism 2014-2021.


The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.

Read more


“A sanatorium in the Central European border village of Sokolowsko plays host to a festival celebrating and interrogating healing vibrations and sounds of the body”
Global Ear, The Wire November 2019 (Issue 429)
“Organized by Gerard Lebik, Zuzanna Fogtt and Michał Libera, it’s a warm and intimate yet firmly international festival devoted to an array of sound artists with often contrasting perspectives”
The Wire On Location October 2017 (Issue 404)
“Sanatorium of Sound has given hundreds of experimental sound art devotees reason to ascend to a small, mysterious Polish village, nestled only a short distance from the Czech border. The annual event is housed in and around a mystical 19th-century sanatorium, where the first international treatment centre for tuberculosis was founded by Dr Hermann Brehmer in 1855”
Hyperallergic September 2016
“Just a fabulous few days overall–great people, some wonderful music, a super-beautiful place”
Just Out Side August 2016
“The program of 2017 edition rests on a few masts, and the clutter of ladders, sails and ropes spread between them presents the experienced audience with the most breakneck transitions and knots”
Jan Topolski



12 August