sanatorium of sound festival

Sanatorium of Sound is a festival that focuses on experimental music and broadly understood sound and sonic art. His main objective is to present the widest possible spectrum of the phenomena related to the development of musical forms in the 20th and 21st century, maintaining the balance between the traditions of experimental music of the past few decades and the new, still structureless tendencies. So far the festival presented realizations of about 200 artists from all over the world. The festival is directed by Gerard Lebik and Zuzanna Fogtt in cooperation with Michał Libera and held in Sokolowsko-spa village in the mountains on the Czech-Polish border.

Sanatorium of Sound is a festival run by In Situ Contemporary Art Foundation in Sokolowsko. The main goal of the foundation is to create a space for art, education, and interdisciplinary creative processes promoting activities on the field of international heritage dedicated to contemporary art and culture focus on sound and visual art, performance, and film. Since 2007 In Situ organizing: Sokolowsko Film Festival Hommage à Kieslowski, Contexts-International Festival of Ephemeral Arts, Sanatorium of Sound, and since 2017 has been keeping the Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Archives.

The program of the festival develops in multiple layers, oscillating around a number of key ideas, include concerts, sound installation, composed and improvised music, performance, conceptual works, discussions and presentations. Many of them were created especially for the context of the place during artistic residencies in Sokolowsko started in 2016 in cooperation with the Air Wro program.

“A sanatorium in the Central European border village of Sokolowsko plays host to a festival celebrating and interrogating healing vibrations and sounds of the body” – The Wire – Global Ear by Biba Kopf November 2019 (Issue 429)

“Organized by Gerard Lebik and Zuzanna Fogtt, it’s a warm and intimate yet firmly international festival devoted to an array of sound artists with often contrasting perspectives” – Richard Johnson 82 The Wire On Location October 2017 (Issue 404)

“Sanatorium of Sound has given hundreds of experimental sound art devotees reason to ascend to a small, mysterious Polish village, nestled only a short distance from the Czech border. The annual event is housed in and around a mystical 19th-century sanatorium, where the first international treatment centre for tuberculosis was founded by Dr Hermann Brehmer in 1855”. – Dorian Batycka Hyperallergic September 2016

“Just a fabulous few days overall–great people, some wonderful music, a super-beautiful place.” – Brian Olewnik Just Out Side August 2016

“The program of 2017 edition rests on a few masts, and the clutter of ladders, sails and ropes spread between them presents the experienced audience with the most breakneck transitions and knots”. Jan Topolski 2017

Sokolowsko is a spa village in the mountains on the Czech-Polish border, in which Dr Brehmer, with the support of Alexander von Humboldt, established the first tuberculosis sanatorium in the world. In the nineteenth century, the multicultural town was visited by many important personalities of those times. In 2007, the building of the former Sanatorium was taken over by the In Situ Contemporary Art Foundation, creating the International Laboratory of Culture there.


Sanatorium of Sound 2015 showed electroacoustic improvised music preseting such artists as Magdy Mayas, Tony Buck, Keith Rowe, Axel Dörner, Burkhard Beins, Angelica Castello, Jérôme Noetinger, Robert Piotrowicz; composers as Kasper T. Toeplitz or Manfred Werder or sound artists as Tomoko Sauvage.

Whereas in 2015 Sanatorium Dźwięku was largely centred around improvised music, the 2016 edition shifted towards composition but approached in an unorthodox way: the so-called „other traditions” of composition was exposed, traditions that cannot be easily placed in the panorama of European academic music.

The 2016 edition takes place in co-operation with the European Capital of Culture Wroclaw 2016. As part of the Artist-in-Residence Programme A-i-R Wro. Artists among others: Valerio Tricoli, Mario de Vega, Alessandro Bosetti, Martin Howse, Olivia Block, Michael Pisaro, Stephen Cornford, Keith Rowe, Gerard Lebik, Bryan Eubanks, Xavier Lopez, Jonas Kocher, Gaudenz Badrutt, Emilio Gordoa, Johnny Chang, Mike Majkowski, Anna Zaradny, Lucio Capece, Ensemble Phoenix plays Robert Piotrowicz, Kasper Toeplitz, Alex Beuss, Antoine Cheseex, Kurt Liedwart.

Edition 2017 was b marked by innovative treatment with cold and hot sounds, sticks and stones, in the cinema and outdoors. Dry Mountain Orchestra conducted by Keith Rowe and Gerard Lebik was working with conceptual scores by Christian Wolff, searching for the key to a contemporary interpretation of experimental music. sanatory17 – an exhibition developed by Viennese artists Klaus Filip and Noid – was presented contemporary trends in European sound art, while the starting point of the Cinema Surroundings program curated by Michał Libera is the sound in film and its problematic status.

An prominent artist invited to the Edition 2017 where: Alfredo Costa Monteiro, Ute Wassermann, Lucio Capece, Klaus Filip, Noid Julien Ottavi, Katherine Liberovskaya, Mario de Vega, Marcin Barski, John Tilbury, Keith Rowe, Ryoko Akama, Phill Niblock, Daniel Brożek, Boris Baltschun, Kurt Liedwart, Ulla Rauter, Serge Baghdassarians, Gerard Lebik, DJ Morgiana, Bartosz Zaskórski, Jan Topolski, Daniel Muzyczuk, Michał Libera, Barbara Kinga Majewska, Christine Schorkhuber, Piotr Tkacz, Łukasz Szałankiewicz, Adam Donovan, Zsolt Sóres, Ahad Hilary, Jeffery Gideon, Kiers, Henryk Zastróżny, Łukasz Jastrubczak, Marek Chołoniewski, Julia Eckhardt.

Sanatorium of Sound 2018 was focused to radio art and sound performance addressing the issue of sound in a defined and undefined space. Artists among others:

Rasha Ragab, Christoph Nicolaus, Peter Rehberg, Takahiro Kawaguchi, Oramics, Martyna Poznańska, Ute Wassermann, Lee Patterson, Aki Onda, Keith Rowe, Izabela Smelczyńska, Valerio Tricoli, Teoniki Rozynek, Michał Libera, L’tronica Festival, Sebastien Branche, Mikko Savela, Knut Aufermann, Sarah Washington, D’incise Cyril, Bondi, Gerard Lebik, Lucio Capece, Maciej Ozóg, Paweł Romańczu, Matej Frank, Mariusz Knysak, Daniel Brożek, Lukas Jirićka, Paweł Szroniak, Kama Sokolnicka, Wilhelm Bras, Tomasz Opania.

In 2019 in cooperation with Phonurgia (Naples, Italy) and NK Projekt (Berlin, Germany) Sanatorium was presended as a MUSICA SANAE curated by Michał Libera. MUSICA SANAE was a research-based art project dedicated to sound and medicine. In three consecutive events in Naples, Sokolowsko and Berlin plus a following publication we will present over a dozen commissioned compositions, installations, art pieces and lectures showing a history of modern intersections of sonic and health-related practices. The program will articulate how new ways of hearing born of those intersections underlie our modern notions of sanity, well- being, hygiene, progress and health.

Artists among others: Peter Abliger; Felicia Atkinson; Tiziana Bertoncini; Biuro Dźwięku Katowice; Erik Bünger; Luciano Chessa; Rudolf; Les énérves; Hacklander / Hatam; Carl Michael von Hausswolff; Gerard Lebik; Barbara Kinga Majewska & Tony di Napoli; Maria della Morte; Anthony Pateras (with Tiziana Bertoncini, Lucio Capece, Riccardo La Foresta, Gerard Lebik, Mike Majkowski & Chiara Mallozzi); Phonoscopie; Seppo Renvall & Aspec(t); Testcard

The Festival was supported and organized in cooperation with entities such as: MKiDN, Pro Helvetia, Austrian Culture Forum, Kulturstiftung Des Bundes, Phonurgia Naples, N.K. Berlin project.