Vertical Studies

An ongoing collaboration between Espen Sommer Eide and Signe Lidén.

For our future shadows (2023)
a live radio montage by Vertikale Studier


Their performance started at dusk with a walk on the paths through the wetland and up to a small hill, where the live recording of a radio show was taking place. In the form of a radio montage, the two performers conducted different sound experiments alongside spoken words and recordings that were played through small speakers placed around in the trees. The sound experiments were interactions with a machine learning model trained on months of audio recordings from the wetland area. The performers used a range of acoustic instruments in order to both play with and search the achieve of sounds.

More about the latest work at Paviljong Våtmark here (scroll down):


In their collaborations, Lidén and Eide investigate how sound is shaped by and resonates in various environments. The first iteration of the Vertical Studies, the critically acclaimed 2016 performance Altitude and History was staged in the hills above Nikel, Russia, as part of the Dark Ecology journey. Leading the audience on a performative field trip, they delved into the connections between wind and sound at various altitudes and its connections vertically to layers of local history. Local history was represented by material gathered through organising the Nikel Sound History Club. 

Sound movement through the atmosphere is affected by the wind profile, the open landscape and the winter temperatures, which can bend the wave front, causing sounds to be heard where they normally would not, or vice versa, creating acoustic shadows. Building upon this archive of altitudinal sounds from Nikel and other areas visited by the artists, their next work Acoustic Shadows and Boundary Reflections centred on a new model of verticality. As an imaginative figure the artists experiment with sorting their archive of sounds by height. From the bottom of the oceans, to the planetary boundary layer with land formations and weather shaping the sounds, up through the clouds to the outer atmosphere. The work traces sounds and soundings from a specific place to a more universal sense of space. Various locations (Sint Jansklooster watertower, Fjell Festning) were in 2017 re-imagined into models of the atmosphere to study this material further. 

A short video document from the Borealis festival event at Fjell festning 2017.

More info in Norwegian about Vertical Studies at Forfatternes klimaaksjon her

Photos by Pieter Kiers

Altitude and History from Espen Sommer Eide on Vimeo.

by Signe Lidén and Espen Sommer Eide

a commissioned work for Dark Ecology Journey 2016

documented by Friday Milk, Sebastian Frisch and Espen Sommer Eide

edited by Espen Sommer Eide

sound by Signe Lidén and Espen Sommer Eide

thank you Sonic Acts, Hilde M. Methi, Maria Rusinovskaya and the Dark Ecology crew

supported by Norsk Kulturråd

Some new dark ecology microphones…

Wind recording sessions at Fjell outside Bergen and Bloemendal outside Amsterdam. Preparing for two large scale performance/installation works early 2017 for the Borealis Festival and Sonic Acts festival. More info to come.