Dávid somló


Dávid Somló is a performance maker and sound artist based in Budapest.  His artistic practice focuses on spatiality and interactions. 
Using simple elements, structures and instructions, he creates immersive sound compositions and choreographies that allow participating audience members to examine their everyday movements and interactions regardless of age or prior experience. With a primary tool-kit consisting of several dozen portable speakers, he has a unique flexibility in composing spatial sound, creating highly adaptable and interactive sound environments.

He often works in site-specific and public space context. His performances, installations and interventions have appeared in a wide range of locations, including foot-tunnels, underground stations, public squares, forests, a Turkish bath, an abandoned office, an abandoned factory, a mining museum, a synagogue garden, an ancient monument, and private flats.



At once gamified group meditation and generative group choreography, Mandala offers an embodied sonic experience by encapsulating its entire audience within a resonant soundscape.

Before entering the performance space, participants are given a simple set of instructions and a specific line on the floor to follow with a portable speaker. Each speaker plays one layer of the composition, thus every participant’s movement contributes to the emergence of a moving symphony of sounds. Harmonising their movement on these routes is a complex task requiring continuous non-verbal negotiation, and brings about various patterns of movement that almost resemble a dance – one that allows participants to reflect on their own behavior and social cues as well as those of the entire group.

The temporary community formed by the participants have complete agency over how the collective choreography unfolds, hence each performance is completely unique. To date, it has flown through the architecture a wide-ranging variety of locations – including a swimming pool (Bulgaria, 2019), a courtyard (Cairo, 2022), a busy town square (Budapest, 2016), an ancient monument (Turkey, 2021), a forest (Nagykovácsi, 2017), a large garden (Prague, 2019) or a black-box theatre (London, 2016) – Mandala has taken form over 100 times since its premiere in 2016.

The piece was also developed towards an integrated version for differently abled people.


Drawing on the urban walking practice dérive, Drift is a 40-minute-long spatial symphony designed for busy urban spaces that sheds light on the beauty and complexity of pedestrian motion.

During the piece, fifteen performers move along concealed pathways carrying portable speakers that each play one layer of a composition, enveloping the public setting in a mesmerising aural sphere. As the sound sources are completely hidden from the audience, it’s the spatial movement of these subtle, continuous tones that gradually unravel the piece’s choreography.

As the performers intersect with the pedestrian movement, they shape, distort and redirect our perception, allowing us to become aware of the habits and behaviour we unconsciously adopt in these transitional spaces.

Step by step, the dramaturgy of the choreography intensifies, luring more and more onlookers into its whirling pool of sound – and morphing the public space into something that is about more than solely transit.



In ‘Slow Steps have Ears’, 25 speakers are hidden from sight at public parks, that each play a series of interwoven, site-specific compositions pieced together from locally recorded sounds, snippets of conversations, domestic sounds and minimalist musical elements. Blending in and out of its surroundings, the piece transforms its location into a unique, dreamlike soundscape that invites the audience on an experience somewhere between a sonic meditation and a treasure hunt of sounds.

The speakers scattered around in the space offer a brand new soundscape to the listener from whichever location they choose, through the unique combinations of sounds audible at each location. The composition is repeated hourly, and as each speaker plays a different part that also changes over time, audience members are advised to relocate as often as they wish.

“ Once you start experiencing the world with the sense that the world is actually speaking, every sound of the world is telling you a history (…) You’re reaching across the horizon of time, through sound, through that which continues to speak and echo. But you have to be able to listen. ” – Peter Sellars

‘Slow Steps have Ears’ was created within the framework of the of the European Festivals Fund for Emerging Artists program, with the help of ‘Ferencváros Public Art’ tender, and Placcc Dance Festival. 
 Concept & Composition: Dávid Somló 
 Installation: Balázs Kontur 
 Production manager: Fanni Nánay (Placcc Festival)