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Preview: Susan Philipsz Captures the Delicate Sounds of Human Breath

Susan Philipsz introduces the ideas behind her “War Damaged Musical Instruments” sound-based project in this preview of the upcoming Berlin episode from Season 9 of the Art in the Twenty-First Century television series.

Shown recording a musician playing a bullet-pierced 19th-century bugle, Philipsz notes the fragility of the sound produced when blowing wind through the instrument. “It was really more about the breath,” says the artist. “I became interested in breath being a metaphor for life.”

Season 9 of Art in the Twenty-First Century premieres September 21 at 9:00 p.m. on PBS. Berlin airs September 21 at 10:00 p.m.