During the years of HoME (2020 – 2023) the team of four new music organisations and the 12 participating artists who were selected through a call-for-artists, worked together in three consecutive project-phases.

The call was written out for emerging artists of three types.

A, composers with academic background, capable of composing for a new music instrumental ensemble,

B, composers more of the electronic music scene with progressive aesthetics and some knowledge in programming and

C, any artist of other discipline, who would like to cooperate on the project.

This concept assured us to have a group of participants with very divers artistic norms. We received more than 100 applications. The artistic leaders of the national organisations created a shortlist of the applicants of their own country. We came together to make decisions on the artistic team based on these shortlists.

After commissioning the participants, we had our kick off residency which supposed to happen in Budapest, but because of the pandemics we had a three days long online program with a lot of discussion and exercises. We invited guest lecturers, mainly in the field of oral history and community related arts.

Parallel to the selection procedure, and the first residency, we started the implementation of our plans for the first project phase, the creation of the Home-House. We hired a Hungarian creative team of builders, designers and programers for the completion of this task, and of course later on we had a lot of fruitful conversation with all participants of the project how the House should look like and work. 

HoME-House is the core of the whole project. It is a mobile studio, that has two rooms. One is an excellent looking little space with a chair and a screen-panel. The second one is a little tech-room for all further equipments. All this together is capable to host one guest who answers our question “what home means to you?”, meanwhile his/her answering is transferred to a data stream to the computer, that creates the sonification, a sort of musical flow audible outside the HoME-House for other members of the community. It is important to say, that the words told inside the house, are not comprehensible in the sonification for the members of the community outside the House. The musical flow is produced with the help of different patches and algorithms created by the participating artists. We used in the data stream three sources: the audio signal of the speaking voice, the hight of the body, transcription of spoken words in the given language. Technically much more data is there, like the position of the face in front of the camera, or the gestures of this, but we used only these three sources. We recorded all these data anonymously only with a time-stamp in our database, and these recordings can be researched upon request by scholars. Participating audience gets an automatically generated and printed QR code and a url points to the recording of the sonification, that was created from their words.

All participants met for the first time in Budapest when the House was already working. We had a three days long residency at the Moholy-Nagy University (MOME). Here we could try out how the House is working, had some guest lectures on the topic of data- sonification,  and their several aspects in arts, as well as several fruitful discussions. HoME House is built on a trailer, that we can tow anywhere with almost any car with a hook and a normal drivers licence. We decided to make a tour  first in rural settlements where any of the participants has some roots, or personal connections. The aim was, to reach out to an audience outside of our urban, contemporary art related environment. So we visited areas, where we had established connections with at least one person of the community. These visits were very different. At some places the local community organised a little feast where they cooked and we could have nice conversations. At others full classes of elementary school students came with their teachers to share their opinions on home with us. We can say, that all these events were touching and we felt, that all people has a need to think and talk together about home, family and the oral history connected to these.

Mainly because of the pandemics – and partly because some bureaucratic issues with getting our unique creative vehicle properly licensed in Hungary – we needed to shift our timeline a bit, so we started our tours with some delay according to our original timeline. We finished the first phase of the project in springtime 2022. HoME-House was collecting ideas and opinions on “home” in all four countries. This experience, and the collected recordings and their sonifications were the starting points of all further phases of the project.

The second phase after the completion of the settlement-tours was the creation of a collective Home-Exhibition. We decided to work in national teams on different works. We had some framework based on the spatial and financial capacity of the project and the exhibition spaces we were connected to, but beside this, the participating artists had freedom on how to formulate their thoughts in separate  installations. We also had an exhibition creating residency in Budapest. where all national team could show their concept, or even already a draft version of their work to the others. This one was planed to happen in Novi Sad, but because of the delay of the first phase of the project it was necessary to organise it in Budapest. We met for five days at the Art Quartier Budapest (AQB) where we had accommodation and nice working spaces as well.

Home-Exhibition had seven separate installations, among them were video installations, objects, audio installation that the visitors could listen with an eye-folder, or other complex audio-visual –partly interactive – works. A description of each of these can be found at our website. Our Exhibition had its premier in Barcelona at the Mixtur Festival in October 2022. In Novi Sad it was shown in the beginning of the next summer at the Svilara Cultural Center. At the other two locations, in Vienna and Budapest, we decided to show the installations at the final presentation of the project, together with the result of the third project phase, an hour long performance-piece.

We knew that the final phase of the project will be some sort of music-theater piece, but its final structure needed to be developed by the participating artists. We knew that we can have a chamber ensemble of about six instrumentalists, and that we will work with a separate ensembles at each locations. Why it is better to have four different ensembles instaed of one who travels around and performs the production everywhere? We think that we can have a bigger impact on the international professional community by doing it this way. Works that are played by four different ensembles has better chance to be played even more times or became part of a repertoire of any local ensembles, than those played by an international project-ensemble, where participants might meet for the first time. We knew also, that we can have a few soloists, people who can travel with the production, and be part of the performance at each locations. In this phase of the project it was crucial that all participating artists, even if they have the most different aesthetic preferences find a way to create a work together. Already at our exhibition creating residency in Budapest it became clear that this could only happen, if the participants has one more chance to meet and work on the performance piece together. So we needed to add an extra residency to our timeline for creating the final performance piece. This happened in Novi Sad.  The best timing for this was to meet for a week before the exhibition opening in June 2023. Some members of the group became the creative core-team of our stage piece.  They met after composers submitted their electroacoustic, instrumental pieces, and figured out how to unite these into a longer performance.

“A Moment to Land” became the title of the performance that was premiered in Novi Sad in September 2023, and during the next weeks in Vienna, Budapest and Barcelona as well. We were collaborating with instrumentalists of the Ansambl 2K+ in Novi Sad, the Black Page Orchestra in Vienna, the UMZE Chamber Orchestra n Budapest and the Barcelona Modern Ensemble at the Mixtur festival.

In Vienna and Budapest we had a complex closing program, where beside the performance of A Moment to Land the Home Exhibition as well as the Home House were shown. In Vienna we cooperated with the renowned Musiktheatertage Wien at the Brut and had a two days complex program around the topic of home. For the second day of our presentation we organised a roundtable discussion, where we invited to Ukrainian Opera Aperta collective, who told us about how they see their home in these days, and how war can change their definition of home.

We closed our project with finalising the collected database of recordings and sonifications.

The biggest learning for each of the participants of HoME was that we were able to get closer, and share our artistic homes with each other, even when our backgrounds, traditions, the defaults of our disciplines, our creative preferences or working habits and norms are so different. All our project-output was a clear manifestation of this development.


                                                                                    HoME – House. Music. Europe