Prague-Braník railway station
The station has been in operation since 1882. In 2016 it was reconstructed. The station is, among other things, a place where Railway Day is celebrated, when it is possible to see historical trains with steam locomotives. The specific character of the station is co-created by the excursion atmosphere of the place and also by the specific concrete arch of the Braník Bridge over the line.
Peter Cusack (UK) is based in London and Berlin. He is a field recordist, musician and sound artist with a long interest in the sonic environment. In 1998 he initiated the ‘Favourite Sounds Project’ to discover how people interact with the sounds of the places where they live. It has been carried in cities worldwide including, London, Beijing, Prague and Berlin. His project ‘Sounds from Dangerous Places’ (described as sonic journalism) investigates the soundscapes of sites of major environmental damage such as the Caspian oil fields, the Chernobyl exclusion zone and the Aral Sea, Kazakhstan. During 2011 he was a guest of the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm.
Peter Cusack focuses on environmental sound and acoustic ecology; he makes sound recordings in the field and in the wild. He is involved in projects involving community arts, focusing on research into sound and our perception of a particular place, and making documentary recordings in areas with a specific sonic character, such as those affected by an environmental disaster. The space of a railway station is in general very inspiring in terms of possibilities relating to such a wide range of artistic concepts. Through the artist’s recordings of the station’s surroundings, the visitor gets a distinct range of information, insights differing from visual images or textual messages. This different type of message makes one perceive the place in an unusual way, a different experience of space. The audio recording fixes a specific period of time, a reality that no longer exists; the visitor thus becomes conscious once again of a specific place through the recording of what is already absent – not as a structure of fixed points from which relationality is derived, but as a network that is constantly happening (Miroslav Petříček). Reality becomes an organism, an “actual entity” – we are part of the organism and live simultaneously with it. (Alfred North Whitehead) This way of perception can make one aware of multiple levels of sensitivity. It can awaken in a subtle way the level of individual sensitivity which is not given space in the usual stereotypical rush of existence and is displaced. The choice of the Braník train station is not accidental. It retains the historical importance of its station building; its location in between several distinctive poetic sites is exceptional. The nearby landmark – the building of the Branik Brewery, the presence of the river, the public transport terminal and wild thickets serving as refuge for various bird species can all be inventively conveyed through the artist’s sound “insights”. The recordings also reflect a historical fact: the existence of the so-called “Sázava River Pacific Express” train on the route from Braník via Vrané nad Vltavou and Čerčany which is still operated on holidays as a steam train.
Dagmar Šubrtová and Iva Mladičová
Manager of production:
Klára Sofie Střihavková
Dan Toman, Josefína Frýbová,
Jáchym Moravec and David Babka
Special thanks to:
Miroslav Bílek, Blanka Němcová, Vojtěch Pollák, Richard Janeček, Matěj Remeš, Rebeka Široká, Matyáš Kořínek, Vladislav Tesárek – Kladenský pivovar
The patronage of the m3 Festival was kindly accepted by:
Mgr. Milan Volf
Mayor of Kladno
Doc. Ing. arch. Petr Hlaváček
Deputy head of the city of Prague
MgA. Hana Třeštíková
Councilor of the city of Prague
Czech Chamber of Architects
MgA. David Kašpar
Deputy Mayor of District P10
Mgr. Ondřej Kolář
Mayor of District P6