(UN)REST Lullaby installation

Alejandro Olarte, Outi Korhonen 2016

(UN)REST is a sound installation consisting of lullabies in different languages that form a shelter where both rest and unrest are present. The structure is composed of cables and small speakers that can be displayed in different formats.

Fragment of the installation. Photo and wire drawing: Outi Korhonen

Illusions of safety

Thematically the installation focuses on the universally shared need to provide shelter for a tired child, independently of the circumstances. The aim is to connect our own experiences to those of the others, to notice the similitude of a basic emotion. The melodies, lyrics and the languages of the songs contribute to the construction of a mobile, temporary, or permanent home. Singing can be used to provide an illusion of safety even in moments of the total lack of it.

Collective creation with 25 singers and languages

Most of the singers of the lullabies are people who have arrived to Finland from different countries. The installation includes songs in more than 25 languages.

Anna Dantchev (Bulgarian), Ali El Aziz (Arabic), Anna Lumikivi (Skolt Sámi),  Annette Kiener(German), Anette Åkerlund (Russian Roma), Cátia Suomalainen Pedrosa (Portuguese), Emma Raunio (English), Erick Dæhlin (Norwegian), Evija Skuķe (Latvian), Fatou Beye (Wolof ), Grisell Macdonell (Nahuatl), Kitari Mayele (Lingala), Liza Umarova (Chechen), Manuel López (Spanish-Spain), Mari Kalkun (Võru), Marouf Majidi (Persian), Menard Mponda (Swahili), Mirjami Ylinen(Finnish), Natalia Castrillón (Spanish/Colombia), Olesya Skorbilina (Russian), Olesya Zolotowa(Polish), Riham Isaac (Arabic), Ruben Gonzalez (Spanish/ Argentina), Satu Ekman (Finnish), Suado Jama (Somali), Supriya Nagarajan (Hindi), Taika Ilola (Carelian and Finnish), Tristana Ferreyra(Guaraní and Spanish/ Argentina), Troels Strange Lorenzen (Danish), Valisa Krairiksh (Thai)

Waves of single human voices

sketches_unrest_outi_korhonenSonically (UN)REST consists of single human voices singing each one a different lullaby mostly in the mother tongues of the singers, without instruments or other background sounds. The timeline of the sound assembles to waves, starting with one single voice/song and adding more and more voices/songs simultaneously, creating a contradictory emotion of (un)rest, and then falling back to a single song and voice, each time a different one. Thanks to the sound technique that relies on many small speakers, the sound remains local and does not cause sounds in a large area.

Touchable sounds

The installation consists of long copper cables and 24 small speakers at the end of each cable. This format permits the visitor to listen to the individual songs simply by placing his/her ear close to one of the speakers, having thus an intimate experience of listening as is the case of a child listening to a lullaby. In the middle of the space the visitor can listen to the coexistence of the different songs.  The physical form can be modified and adapted to different spaces and forms.


On display


included in Mennään jo naapuriin -exhibition,
Stoa, Helsinki, 20.2.-24.3.2018




Nordic Language Festival, Godsbanen, Aarhus, Denmark 18.-21.9.2017

– MuTe Fest and Global Fest 21.11.-12.12.2016, Musiikkitalo, Helsinki.
”Cable Graffiti” version without the tent structure.

– Kanneltalo 8.3.-1.4.2016Helsinki. Part of exhibition Laulava talo, puhuva tie (Alejandro Olarte, Outi Korhonen), Satakielikuukausi 2017

– March 2016, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki. during Homeland exhibition, Festival of Political photography www.pvf.fi (Displayed as Koditon uni  / Homeless sleep)

– February 2016, Vuotalo, Helsinki. Part of Satakielikuukausi / Month of a Hundred Languages. Exhibition Universaaleja unia

Special thanks to

All the singers who donated their voice and time
Satakielikuukausi / Multilingual Month
The Finnish Museum of Photography, Festival of Political Photography
Coro Latinoamericano de Helsinki
Nordic Language Coordination


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