H.E.A.R. is an audiovisual collaboration between composer and sound artist Karlheinz Essl and MONOCOLOR. Karlheinz Essl has been sonically exploring his surroundings for many years by spontaneously recording scenes in nature with head-mounted microphones. From these binaural soundscapes, immersive sound compositions emerge which can be experienced with headphones as a 3D sound world. In H.E.A.R. (Head Explores Auditory Realms), the whispering voice of Andrea Nagl accompanies the listener on a journey through sound spaces full of secrets, dangers and adventures. MONOCOLOR transforms this intimate aural expedition into the visual domain, taking the audience on a slow, meandering walk through a forest-like structure that lies on the border between abstraction and figuration.

it started years ago. with your expeditions. without goal and plan. you let yourself drift. through fields and woods. through meadows and forests.
in the beginning your radius was limited. to the immediate surroundings. the swamp in front of your door. the path into the undergrowth. the track off the road. 
but it switched soon. your bicycle opened up new horizons. carried you further away. from your starting point. and back again. through countless detours.
finally you invented the rule. the law. you obeyed it. and trusted it blindly. every path had to be unique. or at least a part of it. everything was recorded. could be retraced. in your head and on the map. 
now you experienced everything again and again and again. from the bird's eye view. with its deviations. and secrets.
later you recorded the sounds. with microphones. instead of the eardrum. deep in your ears. each time you fell into a trance. you were not only an observer. but part of the scene. a listening head. a watchful ear.

Karlheinz Essl – field recordings, lyrics, composition 
Andrea Nagl – voice

APR 22 2022: Earth Day Art Model Livestream – Online
OCT 18 2022: Künstlerhaus Factory – Vienna AT
Screening of H.E.A.R. at Künstlerhaus Factory Vienna AT
Photos © Sebastian Kubelka / Simon Essl

Other works