Project Description

Annika Kahrs – Your Favorite Music

Score for producing your own music album by recording music that is played through speakers in public spaces.

free – approx. 5’ – 20’ min.

Original instrumentation:
– mobile phone (or a sound recording device)
– headphones (not mandatory)


  1. find your music
    1. Go out on a walk and take your phone or recording device with you.
      You can also take headphones if you want.
    2. Stroll around until you find a public space where music is being played.
      This space can be any accessible place, like a restaurant, a park, a train station or a subway, a supermarket or a mall, children or teenagers listening to music on speakers outside. But it should be music playing from speakers and not live music.
  2. record your music
    1. Start recording the music with your phone or recording device. Try to record as much as you can, ideally at least one full song from the beginning to the end.
    2. You can also use your headphones while recording.
      Sometimes it helps to focus on the music that you want to record.
    3. Also try to record the surrounding sounds and noises. Don’t exclude them.

      – intermission –

      Allow yourself a treat on your way home. Maybe a cake or a nice cup of tea.
      You did well today!

  3. listen to your music
    1. Later in the evening, before you go to bed, play your recorded music track on your hi-fi system at home.
    2. Make yourself comfortable (e.g. on your favorite chair or couch, in your bed, on the floor) and listen back to the music track. Listen to the music very carefully and thoughtfully, giving it all your attention.
  4. compile your music album
    1. Repeat steps 1 to 3 several times, maybe on several days or, if you wish, over a longer period of time.
    2. The recorded result should be collected and put together in order to create a full music album that you can listen to as often as you like following the previously described instructions.


Your Favorite Music originally derives from the concept of a sound installation with the same name that I have created in 2020.

The sound installation My Favorite Music dealt with music reinforcement and the acoustic appropriation of public spaces at the Hamburger Hauptbahnhof (central station in Hamburg). In 2001, ambient classical music started to be played at the Hauptbahnhof to deter people from loitering and sleeping. This follows a strategy used by authorities worldwide to maintain control over these public spaces.

This use of music poses some questions: whose private playlist do we hear at the station? How is the soundtrack perceived by people? To what extent do travelers and those who stay there contribute to the overall soundscape? And lastly, what sounds challenge or overlap with this soundtrack?

Following these questions, I had developed a work that uses the ambient classical music of the Hauptbahnhof in conjunction with environmental sounds from the station and personal interviews with people who utilize this space—people working for “Hinz und Kunzt”, buskers, passersby. The acoustic displacement of this soundscape in the exhibition space offered the opportunity for us to linger again.

The photo shows a recording session at Hamburg train station.

Annika Kahrs
15 March 2021