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Geumgang Nature Art Biennale – Nature, Human Being and Sound, South Korea 2012

Pairs of monolithic stones set side by side are placed one behind the other in a natural setting to form a path. Each pair of monoliths symbolizes the complementary forces of nature, yin and yang. Sections, in ascending order of size, are cut out from the inside left and right sides of the stones. From afar, this creates the impression of an empty way in which the wind can sing its song, as if through a canyon (see drawing). The empty spaces in ascending order of size function as acoustic spaces in which the density of the stone generates a rich sound. By lightly touching the monoliths manually or with wooden sticks or bamboo canes, visitors can make music, either in groups or singly, or together with other instruments, playing as an ensemble or on an improvised basis. They can also interact musically by singing, speaking or dancing, and the sound they experience or generate varies according to the weather.


sound performance FLOWING RIVER & EARTH TIMBRE“:  

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Geumgang river, the sun and the black Korean stones sing in the soundscape

I play raindrop rhythms with wooden stick in the singing landscape

Score for blacks Korean stones. Sound inprovisation John K. Grande


Aim of the project

The sound language of nature is also the universal language of human life. The artist will play the stones, recording the sounds produced in different kinds of weather and improvising with Korean artists.

Maria Dundakova “Shadow of the Wind“- Diary

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Maria Dundakova © Realization of the project „THE WIND SONG WAY“ in the Black Stone Quarry,  Boryeong, South Korea

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Maria Dundakova © Realization of the project „THE WIND SONG WAY“ in the Black Stone Quarry,  Boryeong, South Korea

The work I created in Korea was the outcome of an inner dialogue with myself and with lived-through events that can be constantly re-defined in works of art derived from life.

I’m taking my leave of the Geumgang Nature Art Biennale 2012, of a time in my life that I experienced with great intensity. It was a time of creative exchange: creating works of art, laughing together, engaging in intense discussions, drinking, dancing.

I’m sitting in a „Korean Air“ plane, right at the back, all on my own, with a camera in my hand, watching as the plane takes off. The wide sky opens up before me as we rise.

Dark clouds, so near and yet too far away to touch, enshroud the Earth. Suddenly, light floods the vastness of the sky, now dominated by the Sun. Looking down, I can see how water has engraved the Earth’s surface. Shaken by turbulent winds, we fly over China, Mongolia and Siberia, heading for Switzerland.

Won-gil Jeon had asked me: „What is Nature?“

But of course! Nature has long since ceased to be just a beautiful background or a well laid-out garden –music in Nature does not have a notation of its own. Sunlight carries frequencies of life that transmute in unpredictable ways and fertilise the Earth.

Nature is life

Nature is flowing in my heart

Nature breathes my breath

Nature loves my singing

Nature listen my step

The rhythms of life all have their own specific densities and voids. Their seemingly immobile stillness defines what is high or low, as in a mountainous landscape.

Maria Dundakova Geo Topos „ Shadow of the Wind “ 27. 9. 2012

My first black stone. 13. 9. 2012 Korea Black Stone; Quarry Sungjoo – Myun Boreyong City

Sound performance „Flowing Geumgang River & EarthTimbre“ by Maria Dundakova  Geumgang Nature Art Biennale, 3.00 min .

My Biennale project, „THE WIND SONG WAY“, is very much in my thoughts.

I take two black stones embedded in a mountain in a manner that makes them resemble its outline, and I raise them from the soil so that they stand absolutely upright, creating a contrast with the meandering horizontal of the river’s flowing waters.

I cut deep, circular openings in the stones on their facing sides, like two lungs that can breathe together. I stand between them; I act as their spinal column.

Landscape and stones flow into each other. The horizontal of the river is rhythmically reflected in the openings, just as water levels rise and recede. When I touch a stone, I touch the Universe.

Empty spaces are acoustic spaces: if struck lightly, they generate soft sounds; emotionally charged contact makes the sound-stones resonate mystically, conveying the endless rhythms of Earth time’s genesis. The body’s pulse is vibrant music.

I want us to hear the music of Nature with our whole body and to store away
the echoes so that life flows even more sensuously in our veins

The Mosan Museum includes a farm with red deer. When I was working there on my stones, I could hear the wild song of the deer in their rutting season. It reminded me of Mongolian overtone singing. Everyone sits around an open fire and sings together, sensually and passionately like the red deer; high tones suddenly resound, then dark and velvety deep tones that can elicit a hitherto unfamiliar longing. Sounds are tangible contacts. It is fascinating to see how the empty universe creates heat in the lungs and stirs the pulse, from which an unrestrained expression of life, diverse and rich like breath and breathing, makes itself heard.


My stones move further and further away from me.

Because we ourselves are full of sounds, we seek new chords with which we can vibrate anew in synchronicity.I know that the group of stones on my „Wind Song Way“ will be reanimated again and again by strangers who discover the enchanted sounds of the stone bodies for themselves.

The wind will sing its songs into the narrow openings in the stones; the snow will turn my black stones white; raindrops will carve narrow grooves in them: the stones will be awakened to life by the sun with which every day begins, and they will seek rest as night falls.

Sounds are multifaceted contacts and fields of intensity, imbued with all the richness of breathing. Korea’s traditional values of life are closely bound up with the natural environment. „Korea, I’ll be back“, I say to myself as I look down from my window long after we have left Korean territory.

Deutsche Fassung: PDF

English Version: PDF