This is an abstract from the Beyond Listening symposium program.

Turbulent Currents

Sound performance

Christoph Brünggel

Turbulent Currents is a live-set with sounds from different energy producing landscapes. The sound performance musically combines and blends multiperspective field recordings from places such as hydroelectric stations in Portugal and the Swiss Alps, a geothermal power plant in Iceland, wind turbines in Galicia, or a thermal power plant in the city of Zurich. The performance artistically navigates through the sonic emissions of the different energy producing technologies and their entanglements with nature.

The live-set is part of the longtime project Turbulent Currents which deals with the ambivalent, sonically fascinating but sometimes distressing experience of architectures and landscapes of energy production – topologies that are all to some extent non-places in the sense of being uninhabitable, often gated and even dangerous zones. But at the same time these territories are of great importance for society and thus classified as critical infrastructures. The project seeks out to explore the sounds of these places and especially their sonic polarities that unfold in relation to their particular logic of how time and space are organized. Thus, during fieldwork in different power plants multiperspective sound-recordings are gathered. An array of various microphone types and sensor technologies are used to capture the soundscapes and extend a human perception of energy conversion. Excerpts of these recordings are combined with electronic sounds of an analog modular synthesizer to create experimental music compositions that echo the multisensory experience of these ecologically ambivalent infrastructures of power production. By creating, shaping and sculpting sound with pure electricity of an analog synthesizer, the compositions also include and reflect the transformation of electricity into a sensory graspable, sonic existence. Through acousmatic multichannel compositions, sound installations and live performances the project faces these flowing more-than-human forces such as water, heat, air, and electricity and uses the power of sound to capture and express our energy-dependent existence in the Anthropocene.


Christoph Brünggel is a transdisciplinary artist based in Zurich, Switzerland. His works span across visual art, sound art, and electroacoustic music. The fragility and instability as well as the ecology and the complex entanglements of the human and non-human world are at the core of his interest. His wide ranging body of work was presented internationally in art spaces, museums, music venues and at film festivals. He holds a Diploma in Music and Media Art and a Master of Arts in Contemporary Arts Practice from the Bern University of Applied Sciences, Bern Academy of the Arts. Currently he is enrolled in the Doctoral School for Artistic Research at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz and the Zurich University of the Arts.

Photo: Thomas Kempke

Christoph Brünggel Budapest, 2023