Karlheinz Essl & MONOCOLOR

H.E.A.R. (Head Explores Auditory Realms)

An Audiovisual Journey Through Nature

Contribution to the Earth Day Art Model 2022

Basics | Lyrics | Team | Bios

World Premiere: 22 April 2022 @ Earth Day
© 2022 by Karlheinz Essl & MONOCOLOR

Listen with headphones to enjoy the immersive 3D sound worlds!



I have been exploring my surroundings for many years with my ears. Letting myself drift through un/familiar spaces, listening to the sounds that I record spontaneously with head-mounted microphones. From these binaural soundscapes, immersive sound compositions emerge which can be experienced with headphones as an ir/real 3D sound world.

During the COVID_19 lockdown in winter 2020/2021, I started writing lyrical texts, reflecting my explorations. In H.E.A.R. (Head Explores Auditory Realms), the whispering voice of Andrea Nagl accompanies the listener on a journey through sound spaces full of secrets, dangers and adventures. MONOCOLOR transforms this intimate aural expedition into the visual domain, taking the audience on a slow, meandering walk through a forest-like structure that lies on the border between abstraction and figuration (Karlheinz Essl).


it started years ago. with your expeditions. without goal and plan. you let yourself drift. through fields and woods. through meadows and forests.

in the beginning your radius was limited. to the immediate surroundings. the swamp in front of your door. the path into the undergrowth. the track off the road.

but it switched soon. your bicycle opened up new horizons. carried you further away. from your starting point. and back again. through countless detours.

finally you invented the rule. the law. you obeyed it. and trusted it blindly. every path had to be unique. or at least a part of it. everything was recorded. could be retraced. in your head and on the map. now you experienced everything again and again and again. from the bird's eye view. with its deviations. and secrets.

later you recorded the sounds. with microphones. instead of the eardrum. deep in your ears. each time you fell into a trance. you were not only an observer. but part of the scene. a listening head. a watchful ear.


Karlheinz Essl - composition, field recordings, lyrics
Andrea Nagl - ASMR voice


Karlheinz Essl (* 1960) and is an Austrian composer, electronic musician, media artist and software designer. He studied composition with Friedrich Cerha and musicology in Vienna and was composer-in-residence at the Darmstadt Summer Courses and at IRCAM in Paris. Since 2007 he is professor for electroacoustic composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Essl develops instrumental works and compositions with live electronics as well as generative composition software, improvisation concepts, sound installations and performances. He has collaborated with artists such as Harald Naegeli ("Sprayer of Zurich") and Jonathan Meese, writers Andreas Okopenko and Erwin Uhrmann, and choreographer Andrea Nagl.

MONOCOLOR alias Marian Essl (* 1993) is a Vienna based audiovisual artist. He explores the interrelations between sound and image in both performance-based and installation-based works. His fully generative, algorithmically created imagery oscillates between fluid, organic textures and rigid structures. He focuses on the relation between sound, image, light and space, aiming to create highly immersive audiovisual universes. He holds a degree in media technology and experimental media and is currently studying Digital Arts at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. His work has been shown in various contexts around the world. In 2020, he was awarded the Japan Media Arts Festival New Face Award for his audiovisual fulldome performance "Latent Space" that was created during a residency at the Société des arts technologiques (SAT) in Montréal.

Andrea Nagl (* 1975) works as a freelance dancer, dance teacher and choreographer as well as a cranio sacral practitioner. Dancing collaboration with numerous companies. Since 2006 cooperation with the media artist Markus Wintersberger (intermedial dance performances, interventions in public space, digital choreography). Occupation with site specific instant composition and improvisation. Interest in working with artists from other fields (visual arts, AV, music). Choreographic research on music-compositional principles and intensive collaboration with the composer Karlheinz Essl.

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Updated: 20 Jan 2023