Soundcloud's "Berlin Wall of Sound," a self-promotional project that replicated the Berlin Wall through audio, has won the Grand Prix for Radio at Cannes. Created out of Grey Berlin, the campaign was created to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and consisted of a track whose sound waves matched the wall's exact shape.
"This year's choice was very, very different and very, very inspirational," said jury president Paul Reardon, executive creative director of Whybin/TBWA Melbourne. "In the year of 2015 when audio and radio on a global level seem to be making headlines every second week--whether its the advance of digital radio, Spotify or Apple collaborating with Beats -- this is a really relevant piece. "
SoundCloud,a sound distribution platform whose offices are based in the original "Todesstreifen" ("Death Zone Area") around the Berlin Wall, is marking the 25th anniversary of its fall by constructing the "Berlin Wall of Sound" -- a track whose sound waves match the exact shape of the wall -- including the infamous watchtowers.
The German-language creation, which makes distinctly uncomfortable listening, is made up of atmospheric audio recordings and excerpts from menacing speeches by former leaders of the German Democratic Republic, as well as the sounds of border guards.
Ominous voices insist, "Nobody has the intention to raise a wall" and "To those who don't respect our border, they will feel the bullet." Erich Honecker, leader of the GDR for 18 years, is heard celebrating 40 years of the GDR in 1989 by saying, "The German Democratic Republic will exist another 40 years and beyond."
The track is 7 minutes and 32 seconds long -- the time sound takes to travel the 155 kilometers of the original Berlin Wall. Sounds along the way are tagged with the names of the 120 women, men and children who died trying to escape to freedom, and a description of the circumstances of their deaths.