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[BD013] Tomoko Sauvage – Fischgeist
Release date: October 16th 2020
12″ vinyl LP & digital download (no streaming services!)

Fischgeist was recorded in a former water tank in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg in August 2019. The nineteenth-century brick building consists of five layered circles, with a spiral staircase in the middle leading up to an exit to a hilltop. Inside, it’s humid and cold, the temperature always around 8–10 ℃. The building’s acoustics produce a long reverberation that lasts up to 20 seconds.

‘One day between recording sessions, a man, a passerby, wanted to look inside the building. He told me that it used to be full of fish. For a second I imagined a huge round aquarium with loads of fish swimming around in circles. Then I realized that he meant dead fish were kept there, to be sold on markets during the GDR era. But the image of fish swimming in the space stayed with me.’

In conversation with the space of the water tank, Tomoko Sauvage searches beyond the limits of her self-invented ‘natural synthesizers’: porcelain and glass bowls, filled with water and amplified with hydrophones.

While she continues to develop some of the classic techniques heard on her previous album Musique Hydromantique (Shelter Press, 2017) – hydrophonic feedback (Kinetosis Study) and ‘fortune biscuits’ (porous pieces of terracotta that emit tiny singing bubbles) (Deluge) – here new elements are combined with delicate gestures to make curious noises: stroking bowls’ surfaces to imitate the voices of sea mammals (Metamorphosis), drawing dots and circles by rubbing stones against stones underwater (Exit) …

The underwater amplification of quasi-inaudible sound is even more magnified in the air by the echo of the water tank. Not only tiny bubbles, but also micro-movements of the bones and veins of the hand holding the sonorous objects in the water, are intensely amplified – sounding like a tempest on the opening Deluge.

Sauvage’s longtime research into hydrophonic feedback develops with her new obsession with natural harmonics and sympathetic resonance. In Flying Vessels, the percussive notes of struck bowls resonate and turn into feedback loops before decaying, fueled by electric signal gain. Kinetosis Study is a sonic etude on fluid dynamics – the flow velocity, pressure and density of manually shaped water waves directly controlling the aquatic synthesizer’s parameters.

August, when the mid-summer Ghost Festival is held, is traditionally known as the Ghost Month throughout East Asia. The spirits of the dead visit their living families, who welcome them with feasts, dancing and music. Miniature lantern-laden boats are released in rivers, to help lost ghosts find their way home.

Animated by formless matter – water, electricity, sound – Fischgeist celebrates a phantasmagoric journey, as the souls of aquatic lifeforms find their way out of the labyrinth of the water tank.


Composed, performed and mixed by Tomoko Sauvage
Recorded and produced by bohemian drips prior to ‘Speicher’ festival in Berlin, August 2019 | binaural recording with a KU-100 dummy head microphone
Mastered by Andreas Kauffelt in Berlin
Cover drawings by Baien Mōri (1798-1851)

© Tomoko Sauvage and bohemian drips – all rights reserved |

last release
[BD012] Berke Can Özcan – Mountains Are Mountains

bohemian drips. presents: Speicher IV
August 21 & 22 2020
festival for site-specific music in the big water reservoir of Berlin-Pankow

Friday 21: Andrew Pekler • Ingrid Schmoliner & Elena Kakaliagou
Saturday 22: Limpe Fuchs • Jan Jelinek & Sven-Åke Johansson

Speicher is a festival for site-specific music in the big water reservoir of Berlin-Pankow, curated by bohemian drips since 2017. The fourth issue features four concerts over two days, developed exclusively for the long-lasting reverberation of the space itself: With up to 18 seconds of reverb and eerie echo-effects the pieces will be guided by a similar conceptual approach that incorporates the interaction between music and architecture. The audience of Speicher IV will witness four different compositional angles within the sonic scenery of the reservoir, featuring both acoustic and electronic concerts. Visitors are invited to roam the spiraling corridors of the reservoirs to fully immerse themselves in the visually accented performances.

× programme

_ friday 21
__5:30pm: general announcement and “boarding“. please attend


Andrew Pekler
• amami remote visitation | electronic/audiovisual
± web:

__mandatory ventilation break


Ingrid Schmoliner & Elena Kakaliagou
• prepared grand piano, voice, horn | acoustic
± web:
± web:

_ saturday 21
__5:30pm: general announcement and “boarding“. please attend


Limpe Fuchs
• pendulums, self build instruments | acoustic
± web:

__mandatory ventilation break


Jan Jelinek & Sven-Åke Johansson
• piece for seven dictaphones & one cymbal | electroacoustic
± web:
± web:

The hygiene concept of Speicher IV is based on:
SARS-CoV-2-Infektionsschutzverordnung (from July 21)
Hygienerahmenkonzept für Kultureinrichtungen im Land Berlin (from August 10)

× address

Großer Wasserspeicher, Prenzlauer Berg
access via Belforter Str., 10405 Berlin

× newsletter signup via:
× funded by Musicboard Berlin & Bezirksamt Pankow von Berlin: Amt für Weiterbildung und Kultur, FB Kunst und Kultur
× supported by Förderband e. V. and the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria
× questions? write us:

× idea and programme: Alexander Meurer & Fillipp Vingerhoets

× previous editions

Speicher III (August 2019)
• Tomoko Sauvage, Thomas Ankersmit

Speicher II (June 2018)
• Audrey Chen, microtub, Sandra Boss, MORPH!, Kudu (Els Vandeweyer, Ignaz Schick, Klaus Kürvers), Sawt Out (Mazen Kerbaj, Michael Vorfeld, Burkhard Beins), Air Cushion Finish, Saba Alizadeh, Clive Bell & Sam Weaver, JD Zazie, Marimba

Speicher I (July 2017)
• Arnold Dreyblatt, Axel Dörner & Richard Scott, Kulku, DuChamp, Big Beats Big Times, ITOE

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