{Austria} Klangturm St Pölten

October 1, 2011


Just as sometimes you visit a museum full of expectations and come away feeling rather disappointed, other times you pass one over because it doesn’t sound like much and afterwards kick yourself for the missed opportunity. I recently unfortunately had such an experience, sound being the operative word.

During our trip to Austria, we did not just visit Vienna but also the Landeshauptstadt of Niederösterreich, St Pölten. The latter is home not only to one of Austria’s youngest Landesmuseen (enlg: state museum), but also the so called ‘Klang Tower’, which translates roughly as ‘sound tower’ and was described to me as “a viewing platform from which you can see across the whole city, with displays on each level that you can look at on your way down.” Despite the free entry, I decided to give it a miss as it had been a long day and I had already subjected the rest of the party to two other museum visits. I don’t know if I was distracted by the hot and bothered baby I was pushing around (my own, in case you were wondering) and not paying enough attention to the tower’s description, or whether our host, being petrified of heights, just hadn’t been selling the idea enough. But when I afterwards read a leaflet about the Klangtower, I wished I could swap the rest of the day’s museum visits in return for a trip up the tower.

Much more than just a viewing platform, the detailed description of the current exhibition makes it sound like a ‘Museum of Sound’ – an immersive, interactive place where you can see, hear and make sound on six different levels: From ‘diving’ into the sounds of the ocean, going on a journey through the sound landscape of Niederösterreich, or exploring the virtual and digital sounds of the Internet world, through experimenting with making sounds from objects out of different materials or trying your hand at some sound games, to experiencing two sound installations, one about sounds of the Universe, the other about silence.

It’s too late for me, as the current exhibition only runs until 30 October 2011, but if you happen to find yourself in that particular corner of Austria before then, I suggest you leg it down to the Klangtower and check out whether it really is as fantastic as it sounds (no pun intended). And if it is, please try not to make me too jealous ;-)


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