Universal Humming (2019)



The Hum is a phenomenon, or collection of phenomena, involving widespread reports of a persistent and invasive low-frequency humming, rumbling, or droning noise not audible to all people. The Hum is sometimes prefixed with the name of a locality where the problem has been particularly publicized: e.g., the "Bristol Hum" or the "Taos Hum". It is unclear whether it is a single phenomenon; different causes have been attributed.


The essential element that defines the Hum is what is perceived as a persistent low-frequency sound, often described as being comparable to that of a distant diesel engine idling, or to some similar low-pitched sound for which obvious sources (e.g., household appliances, traffic noise, etc.) have been ruled out.

Some people hear the Hum only, or much more, inside buildings as compared with outdoors. Some perceive vibrations that can be felt through the body. Earplugs are reported as not decreasing it.


The Hum has been reported worldwide.


By using describtions of the Hum as event-scores and instructions for small sound pieces the exhibition presents different noise portraits of several areas of the world.

People affectd by the Hum became mediums and are channeling the sound of the earth or an updated version of th Musica Universalis or Harmony of the Spherese influenced by modern technology, enviromental changes, current political trends and personal issues.


installation view, Zentrale, Vienna, Austria

© Christina Köhler 2023