With a history of over 180 years, the Philharmoniker Hamburg is not only the oldest orchestra in the city; it also has a deep relationship with the city of Hamburg, its history and its culture. The sound logo for the orchestra is inspired by the unique skyline of Hamburg and its reflection on the surface of the Binnenalster lake. When looking at this reflection, the designer discovered that the skyline with its church towers of different heights almost had the shape of a sound wave with upward and downward level peaks. The idea of converting this shape into a unique sound logo was realised with the help of sonification, a process of translating data such as the depicted skyline into non-linguistic sound items and thus a representation in acoustic form. The particular challenge for composer Thomas Suess in creating this sound logo was to identify an orchestra instrument possessing a string or key stroke hard enough and an echo short enough to convincingly represent the church bell sound.
Statement by the jury
»This sound logo represents an entirely new approach of turning a visual image into music through sonification. The entire production was played by the orchestra and resulted in a splendid recording that creates a unique identity for both the orchestra and the city of Hamburg.«