A big part of visiting a cultural history museum is to engage and connect with history, which requires a feeling of authenticity; we want to imagine what happened, maybe even get a feeling of traveling back in time. Few places offer an experience as powerful as in the original buildings, and few places speak to the visitor’s emotions and imaginations as much as the floors where the people of the past have walked; the furniture they sat on, the objects they used in their everyday lives. Here there is everything, yet something is still missing. If we could take a person from the past and somehow place them back into their preserved room, they would immediately notice if the sofa had been moved, or if the piano was missing. But, they would also notice if the sounds from the street were different, if there were less birds chirping from the garden - the subtle everyday soundscape has changed.
In this project, Aarhus University collaborated with three Danish cultural history museums, Struer Museum, Museum Skanderborg and Frilandsmuseet Herning, to explore how sound can be understood as part of cultural heritage, and how it can be experienced as part of an exhibition through soundscape installations. The aim was to create the soundscapes as integral parts of the exhibition, in which they are becoming a permanent part of the authentic experience that the museums offer.
Buchholtz House (Struer Museum) was the home of the Danish author, Johannes Buchholtz, and tells the story of his life in the house which was often filled with visiting artists and writers. The Farmhouse (Frilandsmuseet Herning) tells the story of a family of knitters on the moors of Jutland in the 1850’s, where wool-knitted clothes were an important commodity for trading. The Skanderborg Bunkers (Museum Skanderborg), is a WW2 communication bunker in the forest of Skanderborg where the German Air Force set up their main quarters in 1944.