Helsinki’s Central railway station’s pedestrian tunnel transforms into a resonant instrument

Josue Moreno’s installation will accompany the daily life of commuters and passers-by for three months.

Tunnel piece

The pedestrian tunnel underneath the Helsinki’s Central railway station connecting Kaisaniemi park with Elielinaukio square will become a large-scale resonant instrument, played by urban life and trains passing overhead. The tunnel will be rendered in warm light and inhabited by an animate, permutable sonic atmosphere to accompany the daily life of commuters and passers-by during the three darkest months of the year. The installation will be running for three months, starting on November 2nd 2020. Listening to the rhythms generated at the train platforms, the tunnel will then follow them as if it were a large, breathing organism echoing the life above and intensifying the urban experience within it. The more active the society is, the more dynamic the sonic activity in the tunnel will be. 

“Sound is a powerful tool in creating a sense of place”giving it atmospheric tint. Our spaces are accompanied, coloured and impregnated by sound. I believe that applying ”sonic pressure” to key points in public spaces is a compelling strategy to challenge the habits and behavioral patterns already formed in the space, stimulate new engagement with the site and cultivate more conscious urban dwelling. Adding this new layer to the tunnel will modify its conditions and the existing perception of this space will change”, Moreno explains. 

Urban sounds reflect the return to normal

 Recent pandemic and the restrictions it imposed, made the commuting and other city rhythms sparser. This project is made in hope to become a beacon signaling the return of normal urban life. Josué Moreno has been researching and developing the practice of Urban Sonic Acupuncture at the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki since 2015. Many artistic factors contributed to his decision to use this particular tunnel as the site for his next project. Moreno engaged in a long process to feel the tunnel rhythms and it’s behaviour. To him, the tunnel revealed itself as a mirror of the activities in the city, and our activities as society. This was very noticeable during lockdown and post-summer back to activity.     

“I have been circulating through this space for years, and I felt that as urban dweller, I can contribute my vision to the perception of this space and to his vision of Helsinki as an experience-based city”, Moruno says.  

The installation will be running for three months, starting on November 2nd 2020 and ending on February 2nd 2021 and will be open daily from 6h to 21h. This is the 3rd part of Moreno’s doctoral project at the Uniarts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy on Urban Sonic Acupuncture. 

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Josue Moreno

30 years of doctors of music from the Sibelius Academy

In 2020, it will be 30 years since the first Doctors of Music graduated from the Sibelius Academy. So far, over 200 graduates have completed a doctorate in music. The internationally esteemed and groundbreaking doctoral programmes offered by the University of the Arts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy train professionals for demanding expert positions in the arts, research and educational sector. This event is a part of the anniversary celebrations.