Music for Forgotten Places

Music for Forgotten Places sends city residents out into their neighborhoods on a journey of exploration and discovery. Located at various forgotten sites are small, hand-made wooden signs, each engraved with a title and a phone number. Upon discovering this mysterious object, explorers can call the number and hear a piece of music composed especially for that place.

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This project was developed by Oliver in 2012 during his Artist-in-Residence period at the Museum of Contemporary Art in A Coruña, Spain. It has since been brought to Fiskars Village in Finland (2013) and Mexico City via Museo Universitario del Chopo (2016).

As our cities burgeon and thrive, we become enveloped in the chaos and thrall. In turn we begin to forget the joy of exploration and the thrill of discovery. This project is a celebration of non-places: a joyful rediscovery of the cities in which we live. By instilling city residents with a sense of place and encouraging them to find their own perspective, Music for Forgotten Places transforms lost locations into landmarks and introduces curiosity and surprise into our daily lives.

The Sign: Requiem for a Ruined Home

The Sign: Requiem for a Ruined Home

Production: Installing a sign on a hidden path

Production: Installing a sign on a hidden path

Inspired by the mystique of number stations– man-made sonic phenomena manifest as public secrets –and the notion of the flâneur– the city stroller, wanderer, and saunterer –Music for Forgotten Places is a public art project of exploration and discovery. Each location is a lost landmark, a secluded corner, or forgotten space: hidden gardens, broken buildings, unusual monuments. Only by visiting the location and following the instructions on the sign can the music be heard.

Museum Exhibit, A Coruña: Featuring a large scale map and research display

Museum Exhibit, A Coruña: Featuring a large scale map and research display

Guide Map: use the guide map to discover forgotten places

Guide Map: use the guide map to discover forgotten places

Music for Forgotten Places is an ongoing series through which Oliver is exploring our relationship with the cities we live in. Through this series Oliver visits cities across the world to discover and compose music for their forgotten places.

If you would like Oliver to visit your city, send an email to olly@mroliverblank.com.