When visiting The Powerhouse of Art museum in Shanghai China, I was fortunate enough to see a very insightful sound-art installation by the composer Peter Ablinger, and Winfired Ritsch. The piece, entitled: The Truth or: How to teach the Piano Chinese, incorporated a computer controlled piano and screened text.
The main theme behind the work was the ancient Chinese principle to “seek truth from facts”. For Ablinger, the German term Rauschen holds particular importance for his definition of ‘noise’, a term for which there is no satisfactory equivalent in English. Rauschen, for Ablinger could reference the forest or the sea, the Rauschen of data, or the blood in one’s ears in a moment of great silence. Rauschen is the locus of the void, rather than the silence of John Cage’s 4’33”, and simultaneously, the totality of all sounds.
The piece I found particularly interesting due to its reference to the Cage-ian term ‘silence’, and his piece ‘4.33’.