How does ancient Messene “sound”?

How would, “listening” to an archaeological site, seem to you? What story would the voiceless monuments of an ancient city tell, if it was transformed in an unprecedented soundscape? This is the experience offered by Tuned City, an international platform that explores the relationship between sound and space in the urban environment of European metropolises. This year, this international festival comes to Greece and visits, together with Onassis Cultural Center, an archaeological site: ancient Messene. With a musical 3-day event that reintroduces the site to the public, Tuned City 2018 calls us to listen to the stones and the city, the mythology and history, the environment, each other. Will we all listen to the same thing?

"Ancient Messene as never seen before. A musical 3-day event by Tuned City 2018 and Onassis Cultural Center transforms that archaeological site to a soundscape, calling us to “listen” to the ancient city

More than 60 artists from all over the world will present their new work, the production of which has been done specially for the specific environment of ancient Messene and Mavrommati village.

Musical 3-day event
For three days (June 1st - 3rd), ancient Messene will greet more than 60 artists from all over the world that will present their new works. The archaeological site will be pulsating under the rhythms of audio installations and will host walks, lectures from archaeologists and researchers of other specialties, concerts and participatory actions seeking out the exemplary “ideal city”: the ancient Greek polis. Tuned City’s previous milestones were Berlin (2008), Tallinn (2011), and Brussels (2013). The activity is organized with the support of Onassis Cultural Centre in the framework of the Interfaces project supported by the "Creative Europe Programme" of the European Union. Entrance is free.

Information: Tuned City 2018, Ancient Messene, June 1st - 3rd , Free entrance. For prebooking, transportation of the public and detailed program:

The Arcadian Gate of ancient Messene’s fortification.

Ideal place
Tuned City presents artistic work and theoretical positions for sound in the context of urban and architectonic situations with particular emphasis on original approaches to the role of ’sound’ and ‘listening’. The archaeological site and active excavation, with all its layers of history, is the ideal place “to reflect on the ‘city as a construct’ and to explore the sensual aspects of space as well as the social and political dimensions of the city”, as the organizers say. “Underneath the well preserved city structure of the ancient place it becomes clear that it was Hippodamus greatest achievement: recognizing that urban planning was about more than engineering a functional city. It was about creating an environment that expressed and nurtured the ideals of its citizens”.

The restored Ekklesiasterion (Odeon). The Roman Orchestra with the colorful mosaic, the skene (scaenae) and the lowest part of koilon (ima cavea) are stand out

“What do we project on a site like this?”, the organizers continue. “How do we trace and preserve history and how does these shape contemporary and future cultural identities? What lies underneath and in-between the monumental obvious findings? What is the difference between local and distant, past and present modes of memory? How can we access or activate different modes of perception?”

If you want to learn more on ancient Messene, visit the virtual tour of YouGoCulture:
View of Ancient Messene’s Stadium after the exemplary restoration works.

Artistic work specialized for the site
Each day of the proceedings will be focused on a central theme: Listening Politics, Media Matters, and Spectral Ambiences. The installations are new assignments and their production had been done specially for the specific environment of ancient Messene and Mavromati village. Curator of the program is Carsten Stabenow (Tuned City, Berlin) and Manolis Manousakis (“Medea Electronique”, Athens). Productions is by Onassis Culture Center, while the cooperation of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Messinia and Petros Themelis, Emeritus Professor of Classical Archaeology and excavator of Ancient Messene, were very valuable.

If you want to see ancient Messene like never before, don’t miss out on this musical 3-day event among its great monuments. For the detailed program of every day, click here::

Active Destinations

  • E learning University of Athens
  • 5 Stadiou Str., zip code 10562, Athens, Greece
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