The Second Life Of Recorded Sounds

The Soundscape Research Studio at the Institute of Cultural Studies and the Institute of Musicology at the University of Wrocław invitate to the upcoming international scientific online conference. This event will take place as part of the third edition of the CENSE annual conference, following conferences in Budapest (2018) and Ústí nad Labem (2019).

The conference will take place as an online event, 22 – 24 October 2020. We will use Zoom and the conference will be live-streamed through YT (YouTube Institute of Musicology). To get the ID of the meetings with Zoom, please send us email

Any questions related to the conference should be sent to the following e-mail address:

Programme: Thursday October 22

10.00–10.15 OPENING 

Session 1 (abstracts)

Chair: Dariusz Brzostek (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń) 

10.15–10.45 Anna Maria Busse Berger (University of California, Davis) 

The Search of Medieval Music in Africa and Germany, 1891-1961: Scholars, Singers, Missionaries 

10.45–11.15 Piotr Cichocki (University of Warsaw) 

Field Recording Beyond the Fieldwork. A Pure Documentation or a Cooperative Experiment 

11.15–11.45 Anna Markowska (University of Wrocław) 

Sound Archives and the (Re)Construction of Cultural Identity 

11.45–12.15 COFFEE BREAK (DIY)

Session 2 (abstracts) 

Chair: Anna Kvicalova (Charles University, Prague) 

12.15–12.45 Uta Schmidt, Richard Ortmann (University of Duisburg-Essen) 

The Second Life of the Recorded Creaking and Moaning of a Silesian Mine Cars Circulation 

12.45–13.15 Michał Witek (University of Wrocław) 

The Soundscapes of the Necrocene – the Role of Sounds and Sound Archives in the Natural History Exhibitions 

13.15–13.45 Jadwiga Zimpel (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań) 

Use of Urban Sound Archives In Grassroots Evaluation of Urban Restructuring 

Friday October 23 

Session 1 (abstracts)

Chair: Piotr Cichocki (University of Warsaw) 

10.00–10.30 Jacek Smolicki (Linköping University) 

From the Impulse to Enliven the Archive to the Composition of New Modalities of Archiving 

10.30–11.00 Anna Kvicalova (Charles University, Prague) 

(In)Visible Sounds: Voice Dissection in the Czechoslovak Fonoscopy Lab 

11.00–11.30 COFFEE BREAK (DIY)

Session 2 (abstracts)

Chair: Csaba Hajnoczy (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest) 

11.30–12.00 Paweł Szroniak (Contemporary Museum Wrocław) 

Extended Listening and It’s Choregraphies 

12.00–12.20 Beata Anna Targosz (Berlin) 

Hybrid environments ‒ Speculative Soundscapes 

12.20–12.50 Michal Kindernay (Prague) 

The Memory of Sound Images 

12.50–13.20 Pedro Oliveira (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2021)

offensichtlich unbegründet (work-in-progress) [Q&A live to the pre-recorded lecture-performance] 

Saturday October 24 

Session 1 (abstracts)

Chair: Magdalena Zdrodowska (Jagiellonian University, Cracow) 

10.00–10.30 Sara Pinheiro (CAS/FAMU Prague; University of Bangor) 

Field Recording: Politics of Sonic Data 

10.30–10.55 Renata Tańczuk (University of Wrocław) 

Studium and Punctum in Recordings of the Urban Soundscape 

10.55–11.20 Sławomir Wieczorek (University of Wrocław) 

On Mishearing Recordings. The Case of Ryszard Siwiec’s Tape from 1968 

11.20–11.50 Antoni Michnik (The Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw)

What Do Recordings Want? What Do Voices Want? The Second Life of Recordings From First World War German POW Camps

11.50-12.10 COFFEE BREAK (DIY) 

Session 2 (abstracts)

Chair: Jan Krtička (Jan Evangelista Purkyně University, Ústí nad Labem) 

12.10–12.40 Csaba Hajnoczy (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest) 

Soundscape Composition vs Field Recording Based Composition in the Hungarian Contemporary Praxis 

12.40–13.10 Julius Fujak (Constantine the Philosopher University, Nitra) 

Milan Adamčiak. “Joy In Sound!” (Music-Intermedia Suchness of His Graphic Scores and Performances) 

13.10–13.40 Daniel Brożek (sound art curator, Wrocław) 

Sound as a Function of Time, Space and Memory – Art Aided Listening in Examples 

13.40–14.10 OR poiesis (alias Petra Kapš) (Maribor) 

KAMIsTONE [Q&A live to the pre-recorded listening session and presentation]

14.10–14.30 Gerard Lebik (Sanatorium of Sound, Sokołowsko) 

Sanatorium of Sound Festival – Presentation of the Festival [Q&A live to the pre-recorded lecture]

The idea behind the conference

The history of sound recording and the recording process itself are key concerns for the field of sound studies. In recent years, researchers have discovered increasingly older forms of sound recording and inscription (e.g. research conducted by the First Sounds Group on Scott de Martinville’s phonautograph resulted in moving the date of the beginning of sound recording back to the 1860s.) Meanwhile, the notion of a “second life” of recorded sounds represents an important area for further inquiry. This notion refers to the problem of re-using archival, non-musical recordings in scientific research, as well as in the context of artistic, educational, environmental and political activities. Various types of sound archives offer important resources for historical, cultural, media, anthropological, musicological or sociological studies, as well as valuable material for artists. It is worthwhile to research within not only institutional contexts, but also private sound archives and collections, whether recently established or those with a long tradition. Today, the common practice of recording the sounds of everyday life using smartphones and portable recorders also raises questions about the future fate of these vast repositories of recordings.

We would like to reflect on the techniques and methods of re-using and re-mediating archival recordings of urban sounds, sounds of nature, human voices, and the sound environments of work and domestic spaces. The use of recorded sound for purposes other than those for which it was originally recorded poses questions about its changing status, as well as ethical problems involving the right to use and process recordings, issues related how they are evaluated, and their introduction into new communication contexts. It is also necessary to consider the methods employed for the reconstruction, reading and analysis of sound recordings (including special recordings, such as the sounds of disasters).

Pertinent issues relate to the use of archival recordings in order to promote the idea of ecology. Can sound really be considered a medium capable of suggestively communicating climate change? To what extent do archival recordings of the sounds of nature today allow us to visualize changes taking place in individual ecosystems? Do recordings of destruction (e.g., the disappearance of bird songs) have greater causative and affective force than those showing positive changes as the result of protective measures (e.g., the disappearance of noise)?

The question of “the second life” of problematic sound heritage would also seem an interesting topic for discussion. An example of such problematic heritage would include recordings of surveillance wiretaps (including those conducted by security services), especially their contemporary (legal?) status and the possibility of using them in various contexts. This theme also refers to the broader issue of the “colonial” dimensions of recordings and the “decolonization” of archival resources, which in the case of Central Europe refers to the ongoing tension between those who created the recordings (state institutions with resources and equipment) and what was recorded (various sound environments that include social minorities, police recordings, social workers, radio broadcasts and the work of investigative journalists). The decolonial intervention in these recorded sound collections raises critical questions concerned with the role of the various parties in this communication process.

The themes that we invite proposals to explore, include but are not limited to:
Forms of archiving sound recordings;
Radio archives;
Criteria for selecting audio materials for archiving;
The deletion and destruction of sound archives;
Falsified and fake sound archives;
Copyright of sound recordings
Sound archives in the context of museum exhibitions and education;
Recordings as cultural heritage;
Recorded sound as testimony;
The role of recordings in historical politics;
Cultural practices related to private recordings of everyday life;
Private sound collections;
Recordings in the context of representations of climate change;
Re-use of non-musical recordings in music;
Sound art based on archival sound recordings;
Sound archives and the (re)construction of cultural identity;
Decolonizing approaches to archival resources;
Archiving recordings and media archaeology.

Researchers representing various fields of interest, curators, educators and artists are invited to participate in the conference. The participants can either present a paper or present educational and artistic projects. The publication of papers is planned in 2021 in the form of an English-language scientific monograph or an edition of a scientific journal.

Scientific Board

Dariusz Brzostek (Department of Cultural Studies, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, PL)
Csaba Hajnóczy (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest, HU)
Július Fujak (Faculty of Arts, Constantine the Philosopher University, Nitra, SK)
Anna Nacher (Institute of Audiovisual Arts of the Jagiellonian University, PL)
Jan Krtička (Faculty of Art and Design at Jan Evangelista Purkyně University, Ústí nad Labem, CZ)
Renata Tańczuk – chairperson (Institute of Cultural Studies of the University of Wrocław, Soundscape Research Studio, PL)
Miloš Vojtěchovský (Asociace MLOK / Agosto Foundation, Prague CZ)

Renata Tańczuk (Institute of Cultural Studies of the University of Wrocław, Soundscape Research Studio, PL)
Sławomir Wieczorek (Institute of Musicology of the University of Wrocław, Soundscape Research Studio, PL)
The Team of Soundscape Research Studio

Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest (HU)
Faculty of Arts, Constantine the Philosopher University, Nitra (SK)
Faculty of Art and Design at Jan Evangelista Purkyně University, Ústí nad Labem (CZ)

Artistic Partners
Canti Spazializzati Sound Lab (Wrocław, PL)
In Situ Contemporary Art Foundation / Sanatorium of Sounds Festival (Sokołowsko, PL)