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Song of Berlin '24

Bodo Hartwig

Barrierefreier Zugang Barrierefreie Toilette
28 June 2024 19:00–20:00 29 June 2024 10:00–18:00 30 June 2024 10:00–18:00
Immersive five-channel soundscape composition

The year 1924 is considered the birth year of the Berlin S-Bahn, a means of public transportation that would shape the sound of the city for decades to come. The unmistakable sound of the electric trains of the 1930s echoed through the urban canyons like a glissando in music, similar to the human voice. It could be heard long after the war and division, as the vehicles were used far beyond their original service life. With their final decommissioning and scrapping at the beginning of the new millennium, however, Berlin's soundscape changed dramatically, as the modern S-Bahn trains sounded completely different, "colder," "more sterile," "less musical. This silenced forever a familiar, distinctive and identity-forming constant in the city's soundscape for over 70 years.

Bodo Hartwig processes specially produced sound recordings of historic Berlin into a soundscape composition that uses this lost "singing" of the old S-Bahn trains as a leitmotif. How does one deal with sounds that are the unintentional, unreflected by-product of a man-made process or action? Can the sounds of everyday urban life be understood as music in the Cagean sense?

The "Song of Berlin '24" is the continuation of a soundscape composition for urban sound and human voice, begun in 2007. Now, in the 100th anniversary year of the Berlin S-Bahn, a new and expanded surround sound version is presented at Museum Neukölln.

Location: Yurt on the grounds of the Museum Neukölln
Performance: Every full and half hour during opening hours. With a special event on Saturday at noon.


Bodo Hartwig

master sound engineer, radio author, audio artist,
studied Sound Engineering and Piano at the
Robert Schumann Conservatory /FH Düsseldorf;
since 1998 working for national public broadcasting stations,
mainly Deutsche Welle (DW), ARD and Deutschlandfunk,
author of numerous radio pieces and features;
2007-8 artistic assistant /lecturer, Media Art & Design
department at the Bauhaus University Weimar;
own creative work includes soundscape compositions
in stereo, 3D or surround-sound, as well as
sound installations and -objects;
artist residencies and exhibitions in Germany and abroad;
producer of miscellaneous music CDs


Alt-Britz 81
12359 Berlin

Museum Neukölln




Barrierefreier Zugang Barrierefreie Toilette