David Moss

23 ways to remember silence, but only 1 way to break it, 2011 • TONSPUR 46


Everything you hear is filtered through your memory. No one else creates the world like you do, and no one else has the same holographic memory of place and time. “23 ways…” is here to grab your attention and recreate the world with stories, songs and music that can trigger and jolt your memory banks. In a moment, you’ll hear a sound story of my world: Every 30 minutes, the course of the day is celebrated acoustically; there’s a song everyone can sing; a parade of amateur singers on Karl-Marx-Strasse in Berlin-Neukölln; a sonogram of street vendors in New York circa 1911; tortellini, mustard plants, and Milky Ways; streams of boulders and watercress; and let’s not forget paradiddles. Stand directly under a speaker at a 5-4-3-2-1 countdown and you’ll hear a short story. Or walk 23 steps through the passage with the parade (it happens every hour). Hum one of the tunes or contribute your voice to the sing-along chorus. Stroll “23 ways…” to the edge of town where the 24-hour pizza place was and the parade begins, stop for ice cream, the smell of coffee, to tickle a dog behind the ear, for a tumble down a green hill, a father’s voice, fleeting secrets and simple songs. The take-away service is free: it’s your memory!
David Moss, August 2011

David Moss, born 1949 in New York City, United States, lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

It’s like standing at the foot of a high mountain: expressing in just a few lines the importance of the singer, drummer, composer, performer, teacher, curator, improviser, theatre-maker, actor… David Moss [*1949, New York City] in the field of contemporary music releases a good dose of adrenalin even before you set out on your [writing] journey.
Probably the most impressive tribute to the singer David Moss is “he is the Caruso of the avant-garde”. And indeed: this voice knows no limit[s]. Anyone who has experienced David Moss ‘live’ on stage will never forget him. A vocal wonder. And much more. An outstanding performer. A phenomenal interpreter on the keyboard of musical improvisation. A breathtaking juggler of sounds. A sound seducer and seducer of sound. A poet of sounds and words. In short: an extremely likeable institution!
As the 32nd TONSPUR Artist-in-Residence, David Moss is now realising TONSPUR 46 with great commitment. With “23 ways to remember silence, but only 1 way to break it”, this great artist and celebrated performer has captured his musical worlds and poetic moods in over 1000 concerts in a sound installation for public spaces. He invites passers-by to linger and listen in the TONSPUR_passage. And to pick up and take along his melodies, stories and feelings. They live on as memories in the memory of those who move on.

The radio version of “23 ways…” can be heard in the programme “Kunstradio-Radiokunst” on Radio Österreich 1 on 23.10.2011 at 11.03 pm. Andres Bosshard’s Kunstradio production “Von der Lärmhölle zum Klanghimmel”, which refers to the “Klanghimmel MQ” installed in the MQ main courtyard until 01.10., can be heard on 11.09. on Ö1. [g.w.]
Georg Weckwerth, August 2011

Opening: Sun 21.08.11, 17h
Introductory words:
Georg Weckwerth [Artistic Director TONSPUR].
Matthias Osterwold [Artistic Director MaerzMusik/Berliner Festival] – read


  • David Moss [USA]*
  • 23 ways to remember silence, but only
  • 1 way to break it, 2011
  • 8-channel installation
  • Length endless
  • Concept, original music, texts, voice, narration:
  • David Moss
  • Sound engineer: Robert Pavlecka [ORF Kunstradio]
  • Installation equipment: Peter Szely [TONSPUR]
  • Scientific documentation: Katrin Gann (University of Vienna)
  • Production: TONSPUR for a public space in cooperation with ORF Kunstradio
  • Thanks to: Michael Rodach, Hanno Leichtmann, Hannes Strobl, Ken Jacobs, Neuköllner Opera, Denseland
  • *32nd TONSPUR Artist-in-Residence at quartier21/MQ
  • 22.08.11-26.11.11
  • MuseumsQuartier Vienna
  • TONSPUR_passage
  • [between MQ Hof 7 and 8]
  • Daily 10-20h