As a sound designer, I helped artist Taryn Simon to realize her extensive sound installation “Start Again The Lament” in the Cisternerne Copenhagen, together with lighting designer Urs Schönebaum.

In a relentless replay, the lamentations of professional mourners are broadcast into the reverberating space of Cisternerne. These sonic rituals of grief include northern Albanian laments, which seek to excavate ‘uncried words’; Wayuu laments, which safeguard the soul’s passage to the Milky Way; Greek Epirotic laments, which bind the story of a life with its afterlife; and Yazidi laments, which trace a topography of displacement and exile. Cisternerne becomes an instrument echoing recitations of loss with a reverberation of 17 seconds.

As sound and visiting bodies move through repeating archways, the installation merges darkness and light, absence and presence, singular loss, and its exponential multiplication. The public is pulled through Cisternerne by lamentations sonically pushing against its walls in cacophony and silence.

Taryn Simon (b. 1975) is a New York multidisciplinary artist working in photography, text, sculpture, and performance – often in combination. Through her artistic practice, Simon directs our gaze towards hidden or inaccessible systems, revealing underlying structures and how these influence our behavior.


Special praise goes to Dieter Klein, founder and managing director of KS Audio, who was prepared to build us 50 top-quality, long-term moisture-resistant loudspeakers. Many thanks, Dieter!