Programme, Territory

‘Wou d’Uelzecht…’ Audio walk around the Alzette River

Under our feet, the Alzette ©Catherine Kontz

In 2022, visitors will be able to explore the banks of the Alzette in the company of Luxembourgian composer Catherine Kontz and artist Sarah Grange. Thanks to a specially conceived audio walk, they will rediscover the sounds and sights around this French-Luxembourgian river that epitomises cross-border relationships and the history of the region of Esch2022. Beginning at Audun-le-Tiche central station, a course of 15 stations with contemporary music composed by Catherine Kontz will be installed along the Alzette. The trail also includes a 16th ‘bonus’ station located at the actual source of the river, a few kilometres west of Audun-le-Tiche.

Visitors – families welcome – can complete this unique audio tour in one day. Starting from Audun-le-Tiche central station, music lovers, hobby musicians or fans of unusual hikes will walk along the river shores and through the unmissable Rue de l’Alzette towards the former ERA open-air swimming pool, once filled with water from the Alzette. In the 1960s, this pool, which is currently under renovation, was a popular meeting place for young people from all over the south. The journey ends at Place de la Résistance (Brillplaz), in the centre of Esch-Alzette. The multilingual audio trail spans several kilometres and takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes to complete. It will be accessible throughout 2022 and beyond.

Don’t forget to bring your headphones, smartphone or mp3 player to listen to the different compositions at each station. Following the map drawn by artist Ben Carter, you will hear poems by the artist Sarah Grange, set to music by Catherine Kontz and sung by soprano Véronique Nossbaum, but also noises of long-gone times from the banks of the Alzette archived at the CNA or the sound environment of the steel industry recreated by percussionist Guy Frisch or flautist Sophie Desayes. An album with the sounds of this original musical walk will be available as a download. The music will also be available on the GOH app developed by Les Ensembles 2.2. After 2022, this project around the Alzette will be expanded to the city of Luxembourg and the north of the country.

Catherine and Sarah have already created another highly successful audio trail, nominated for the QuattroPole Music Prize in 2019. The ‘Fleet Footing’ sound walk, a work based on the notion of psycho-geography, follows the course of the underground river Fleet through London.

Catherine Kontz was born in Luxembourg in 1976. She holds a first prize in piano from the Conservatoire de Luxembourg (class of Michèle Ries) and studied with John Tilbury and Roger Redgate in London, where she obtained a PhD in Composition from Goldsmiths, University of London. She attracted considerable international attention with her opera-mime MiE at The Space in London, which she created, composed, produced and directed herself. This work was followed by numerous commissions, for both opera and musical theatre, including Neige (2013) at the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg in collaboration with the ensemble United Instruments of Lucilin, Fruitmarket (2016) for the BBC Scottish Symphony and, recently, The Waves (2020) for Les Solistes Européens Luxembourg. Her music is regularly performed at contemporary music festivals.

Sarah Grange is a British multi-disciplinary artist and writer with an eclectic background in theatre and art practice, working mostly in live performance contexts.

In cooperation with CNA, United Instruments of Lucilin and Les Ensembles 2.2.