This is an abstract from the Beyond Listening symposium program.

Braunschweig hört sich zu

Sam Auinger / Peter Cusack

Thursday 23 November — Presentations

15.00 — 15.30

documentation of the lecture

klangstaetten | stadtklaenge 2023 Braunschweig hört sich zu! asks two central questions: - How much are the sounds of the city part of the attitude towards life of its inhabitants? - How do we experience sound in urban space?

Braunschweig hört sich zu! explores these questions in two artistic strands.

Strand 1: With his project Favourite Sounds, the British artist Peter Cusack asks the people of Braunschweig about their Braunschweig sound. Their answers are collected and subsequently processed into a word cloud.

Strand 2: In June a series of sound walks were offered in Braunschweig’s urban space. These were guided and performative experiences. In the months before, international artists explored Braunschweig and developed their soundwalks.

All of them are united by “active listening in urban space” and, depending on their individual artistic orientation, this is linked to social, historical, urban and ecological questions.

The project started in January 2023 and continues till end of June 2023.

A sound library and a series of sound walks are currently being created. The Braunschweig sounds can be found on radio Aporee and the other material created, such as the scores of the sound walks, will also be available to interested parties in the future.


Sam Auinger (1956) is an Austrian sonic thinker, composer, and sound artist. Central to his artistic research aims to deepen understanding of acoustic/aural qualities in our urban living environments, precisely public spaces. He propagates "thinking with the ears." For him, it is a critical daily praxis towards understanding our role in an endangered planetary environment at all levels, from social to environmental. With Bruce Odland, he founded O+A in 1989. Their central theme is "hearing perspective." In 2009 O+A introduced the idea of the "Sonic Commons." It questions the dominance of the visual culture in our perception of the world. Sam Auinger was a professor at the University of the Arts in Berlin. He lectures and gives workshops at international Universities like GSD at Harvard, ACT at MIT, or London School of Architecture. He collaborates with city planners and architects and places a high value on a personal experience on-site in all design and planning processes.

Peter Cusack is a field recordist, musician and sound artist with a long interest in the sound environment. He initiated the “Favourite Sounds Project” to discover what people find positive about their everyday sound environment and ‘Sounds from Dangerous Places’ (sonic journalism) that investigates sites of major environmental damage such as the Caspian Sea oil fields and the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

He produced 'Vermilion Sounds' - the environmental sound program - for ResonanceFM Radio, was a lecturer/research fellow at the University of the Arts, London. In 2011/12 he was invited as a DAAD artist-in-residence in Berlin and began Berlin Sonic Places that examines relationships between soundscape and urban development.' His musical collaborators include David Toop, Steve Beresford, Terry Day, Clive Bell, Martyna Poznanska, Udo Noll, Max Eastley, Nic Collins and Viv Corringham. He is based in Berlin and London. Peter participated in the conference Mundus Murmurans in Ústí nad Labem and many other events in the Czech Republic since 1994.

Sam and Peter, Budapest Peter Cusack and Eric Leonardson, Budapest Peter Cusack and Sam Auinger, Budapest