The aim of the Saxon Heritage project is to contribute to the preservation of the cultural soundscape of the Saxon communities in Romania by collecting culturally significant imprints and creating an archive of material and sound memory.
For this reason, the Officina Sonora team studied the history and traditions of the Saxon communities and then carried out field research by visiting the regions inhabited by Saxons to verify their presence and identify the traces left. We have identified which handicrafts are still practiced and how much living generations are committed to preserving these works, despite the objective difficulties in maintaining them, in a context in which the number of Saxons has dramatically reduced. While the artistic heritage has left and is still leaving nowadays lasting traces (stone monuments, artifacts, works of art), the sound heritage is in grave danger of disappearing. UNESCO has realized this: It actually has included the Saxon language among the languages at risk of extinction, as a unique case in Romania (http://www.unesco.org/culture/languages-atlas/en/atlasmap/language-id-1475.html).
The soundscape, however, goes beyond the language and embraces sounds, music, cadences that characterize the soundscape and which are the testimonies that could disappear first. This is why we looked for a way to materialize something non-material, sound, recording it and incorporating it, however, into a “hardware” that was also a visual and artistic expression of those communities: wooden organs.
The exhibition of artworks (Sound Sculptures) created at the end of the project artistically reflects anthropic landscapes and communities in the areas of Romania where the Saxon inhabitants lived and worked, captured in their temporal, social and customary specifics.
The objectives of the project are the documentation of sound, images and materials of Saxon places and communities in Romania, with a specific cultural and sound imprint, the artistic extraction and processing of cultural dominants and the organization of an exhibition acting as material and sound archive and allowing the Romanian and European public to acknowledge the specific features of the Saxon communities.