What does an internal flood of sensations feel like? Can it be dammed, or will it spill over? What kind of space would open if everything was just allowed to flow?

Owla, meaning flood, is derived from ancient Finnish language and forms the starting point for a new multi-channel sound installation by sound artist Jaakko Autio (1981–). The city of Oulu is also named after the flooding Oulu River that flows through the city.

The flood is a metaphor for the emotional storms and indivisible feelings inside the mind, the moment when tears come out. Images of accumulation, flowing, bursting out and surrendering underlie the musical composition. Could it be possible that emotions, when shared, release, strengthen and bind things together?

The present sound work, built into the dark Tasku (“Pocket”) space of the museum, was composed in spring 2023 and recorded in Oulu in August 2023. The choirs heard in the work are Cassiopeia, Cantio Laudis and Tuira Chamber Choir, all based in Oulu.

How to explore the artwork

Sitting on the chairs in the exhibition space is encouraged, and if you change your seat, you can hear different sounds. You can also touch the pool of water in the middle of the gallery or just rest while contemplating the artwork.

The sounds with speech and singing start when a visitor enters the space with a computer playing random sections from 240 hours of sound material.

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