• Kalle Mustonen: Occasional harsh noise and found sounds

Kalle Mustonen
Occasional harsh noise and found sounds

Sound installation in the telephone booth downstairs

Phone booths disappeared as the first wave of mobile technology swept over us. Now, 30 years later, we can examine a landline phone and a phone booth as nostalgic curiosities. Phone booths often play a major role in movies. An unknown voice on the phone gives the first hint of the coming torment in Hitchcock’s psychodramas, Superman changes his clothes in a phone booth and, in the Matrix dystopia, phone booths open gateways between realities.

In recent years, reality has been stranger than fiction. During the Covid pandemic, public spaces were sanitized and a public phone now seems suspicious. Somewhere between fascinating and suspicious is sculptor Kalle Mustonen’s favorite place, a strange valley.

“Occasional Harsh Noise and Found Sounds” consists of a two-channel Arduino-based sound system installed into an old wall-mounted landline phone. At first, the phone contains 11 short soundtracks that you can select by rotating the dial. Pick up the receiver to start playing the sounds and hang it up to stop the playback and return to the beginning. The tracks contain soothing murmur, field recordings, a dog snoring, language course material recorded from a microcassette and random distorted sounds. The sound bank will be updated and changed during the summer.