Radio Forest Sessions

Audio Forest archive, by Futurefarmers

In 2005 Radio Forest was brought to life by the artist duo Futurefarmers (Amy Franceschini & Stijn Schiffeleers) as a radio installation in Het Klankenbos in Pelt, Belgium, commissioned by Musica. The installation was inaugurated in September of that same year during the Klankenbos Festival. Musica asked Futurefarmers to curate a public programme for the installation. One of the several projects that resulted from this was Audio Forest, in which the duo collected forest sounds from all over the world through an international call. Several sound artists submitted an auditory interpretation of a forest, and portable radios were made available in the Radio Forest pavilion so that visitors could go on a sonic ramble through the forest with the collected sounds. In this way; twelve different, both existing and fictional, places from all over the world were rooted and connected through sound in Het Klankenbos, forming an alternative ecosystem of forest sounds.

© Lukas Verdijk

Nowadays, Radio Forest takes the shape of a ‘soundpavilion’ at Het Klankenbos, and actually functions as a large architectural loudspeaker, inside which visitors can listen. In 2009 sound artist Johan Vandermaelen set up a sound installation with transducers and bass speakers inside its wooden structure, transforming the actual architecture into a resonating body, through which the sounds being played are only audible through the vibrations of the pavilion itself. In that same year, architect and artist Koen Deprez transformed the pavilion into a base for all kinds of activities by simply cutting it in half, raising it, and placing a glass band in between.

In 2022, it will be almost two decades since Futurefarmers developed the plant. Amy and Stijn bring the archive of submitted pieces from 2005 back to life in the Radio Forest pavilion through Musica’s Radio Forest Sessions programme. This re-awakening of Audio Forest offers sonic time travel to other forests in different spatio-temporal realities from twenty years ago. While Het Klankenbos in Pelt is filled with hertzian waves among trees, the surrounding infrastructure of freeways, airports and the hum of electrical fans overrides what we might know as forest sounds. Resurfacing the Audio Forest archive is an offering to listen to other ‘forests’ and co-imagine new ways of thinking about forests in 2022.

All year round a different soundscape from the Audio Forest archive can be heard every month through the walls of the Radio Forest pavilion. The broadcast will change every third Monday of the month.

The participating artists are Simon Canaway (UK), Michael R Salmond (US), Max Tertinegg (AT), Eats Tapes (US), Jeff Ray (US), Albert Ortega (US), Maksim Shentelev (LT), Matteah Baim (US), Brian Harnetty (US), Carlos Gómez (CO), Bartolomeo Sailer aka Wang inc (IT), and Christopher Moore (CA).

© Futurefarmers 2005-2022

Curated by Frédéric Van de Velde, artistic coordinator Musica Impulse Centre