A collaboration between musician and composer Ramon Landolt and Architecture practice rotative studio (Alexandra Sonnemans and Caterina Viguera). 

‘Encounter Iced Sound’ brings the sound of the endangered alpine glaciers to the center of the city of Zürich. It is a unique sonic experience created during several visits in various alpine glaciers between 2019 and 2023 and ongoing. At the heart of the project lays sound from different field recordings taken on-site while listening to and interacting with glacier caves and seracs, crevasses, and glacial lakes.

Morteratsch-, Zinnal- and Rhone glacier have been visited both in summer and winter to perceive the different sonic environment. Glacial caves are unpredictable entities because they appear during melting processes until winter freezes their current form, only to possibly disappear in spring again. Early hours on the glacier allowed me to capture unique sounds of the cracking ice melting with the sunrise.

In the course of the project it became clear to Landolt that he wanted to establish a conversation with the glacier. ‘I have developed different ways to do so: through written composition played on-site by invited artists, by improvising on-site with the real-time sonic environment and by recording sounds and altering them afterwards.’

On the occasion of his project (Carte Blanche at Moods), Landolt has invited the Zürich-Rotterdam-based architecture practice rotative studio (a collaboration between architects and urban designers Alexandra Sonnemans and Caterina Viguera)  to create a pavilion in public space. 

The spatial expression of the pavilion reflects, and makes experienceable, that what we can not see, and in this case, hear; the story of unseen and unheard, fragile, landscapes, that are slowly, gradually, but also ever faster, changing, as a result of our own, human, action(s), which has major consequences for our planet. The pavilion, with its subjective acoustical and visual voice, embodies this tension, as a sonic exploration of the climate crisis.

The pavilion as a public room will remain on the Schiffbauplatz for a period of three weeks, so the sounds are accessible to all and listeners can approach the topic at their own pace, yet always in a simultaneity of urban and remote alpine sounds.


During this period Landolt will organize a series of performances in and around the pavilion, with invited musicians, a.o. Mario Hänni (drums), Tapiwa Svovse (saxophone) and Violeta Garcia (cello), who have performed Landolt’s compositions specifically written for the performer and the glacier where the performance has taken place.  

The interplay of space and sound is a continuation of earlier collaborations between rotative studio and Landolt, for example, the architects invited Landolt in 2019 to contribute to their research project Evidence of the Absent, that they developed in a one-year residency in (Kulturfolger) Zürich.

> Video Pavillion here