Did you know that Struer is The City of Sound? In fact Struer has long been a city of sound. The city has long been formed by the presence since 1925 of the Bang & Olufsens HQ. But in 2013 the city decided to become the city of sound. This means that sound is an issue in everything that the municipality does: from childcare to elder care, from business development to cultural policy, from urban planning to leadership strategies.
A city of audiophilia
Struer Tracks is founded in an environment of dedicated audiophilia. What could possibly be better for a sound art festival? Struer is buzzing with ambition, and sound is always a part of that. As in the newly founded Sound Hub Denmark where start-ups and small-scale businesses from all over the world meet to develop ideas and grow; as in local research on music in dementia treatment ; as in impressing commitments to sound art in public spaces in Struer.
A site-specific festival
Struer Tracks is set to prove, that an ambitious and international public art events can take place in a city of approximately 12.000 inhabitants. The festival started off in 2017, and it will happen for the second time in 2019. Since the first issue Struer Tracks has grown, but the festival maintains it’s strong emphasis on locality and site. All works presented at Struer Tracks somehow engage with the site: 12 artists are invited by curator Christian Skovbjerg to develop site-specific works. With a podcast residency and other long-term podcast projects Struer Tracks focuses on local stories, and investigates how the local reflects and listens to global realities and tendencies.
What does it mean to be the city of sound? No one knows for sure. Struer Tracks is not put in the world to give an answer to that question. Rather Struer Tracks and many of the other initiatives in Struer explore and dive into the options in the concept. Is the city of sound a loud city that makes noise and is heard all over the world? Is the city of sound a quiet place where silence prevails? Or musical place, formed by grooves and rhythms? One thing that is for sure is that the city of sound is a city where senses are central. Whether in urban planning, in entrepreneurial, technological and artistic efforts: putting sound first is also putting senses first , and allowing us to see, smell, touch and listen to the world that we inhabit. In Struer Tracks many of the works explore ways of being in the world and relating to the world from a sonic approach.