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Ode to the lockdown sound

Home sounds during the pandemic

In March 2020, The Netherlands went into an intelligent lockdown. Never before we’ve stayed so much in and around our own house. Our living space became smaller, and we were confined to our homes. The world filled itself with (house) sounds that normally went unnoticed but were now experienced intensely. During the lockdown, we suddenly heard noises which sounded louder, which gave security and comforted or perhaps irritated us.

“The beauty and value of everyday sounds are greatly underestimated”, says Elise ‘t Hart (1991). She makes you aware of it by registering, manipulating, imitating, analyzing and imagining sounds.

‘t Hart is a sound artist and founded the Institute for House Sound in 2013. It started with collecting and recording everyday house sounds. Sounds that might pass you by, but can have a huge impact on you in both positive and negative ways. The institute is the beginning of a large collection and documentation of all kinds of sounds that you encounter at home.

On March 20, 2020, ‘t Hart sent a call for sounds in order to create a new lockdown archive, consisting of sounds that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic or simply stand out more. The fragments that can be heard in this room give an auditory image of our house sounds during COVID-19, such as a nibbling cat in Amsterdam, a coffee machine in Utrecht and a Zoom conversation with a class in Dordrecht.

‘t Hart made a sound box for the Instituut voor Huisgeluid. She made a special edition of it, called Lockdown 2020, with a selection of 25 sounds. You can listen to this sound box at the entrance of the Amsterdam Museum from September 20 until October 10 2021.

Ode to the Lockdown sound is a collaboration with several partners for the public program at the exhibition Home in Kunstlinie in Almere. Other collaborating partners where the sounds can be heard are: the Hortus Botanicus and Studio K in Amsterdam | De Nieuwe Bibliotheek, Barbier Rogier, De Kringloper, Zorg & Welzijn de Schoor and Mockamore in Almere.

This room is curated by:
Kunstlinie & Elise 't Hart

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Het huis van Amsterdam Soundtrackcity met dank aan: Gemeente Amsterdam West