Sonic Entanglements: four in-depth talks
A growing number of scientists, philosophers and artists agree that we have entered the Anthropocene, a geological period in which man is considered a major force in shaping the Earth and its climate. This entails that it has become impossible to maintain a sharp distinction between humankind and what we call nature. Climate change, the extinction of species and widespread pollution show us very clearly that we and our environment have become inextricably entangled in a complex ecological web.
In a new essay, commissioned by November Music and the ArtEZ Professorship Theory in the arts, music journalist and researcher Joep Christenhusz explores how this notion of ecological entanglement resonates in the fields of contemporary music and sound art. During New Music Conference, Christenhusz hosts four talks with composers and sound artists who work around the notion of ‘natureculture’ entanglements. Come and join the talks with Slovenian installation artist Saša Spačal, Dutch ‘countryside composer’ Piet-Jan van Rossum, Dutch sound artist Ronald van der Meijs, and Brazilian sound artist Vivian Caccuri.
12:00 – 12:45 | Saša Spačal (installation artist, SI)
Slovenian-born artist Saša Spačal describes herself as a post-media artist, seeing her artworks as components of technological ecosystems that relate more with being human than with using old or new media. With an education in humanities, her research focuses on the fields of living systems, sound design, and interactive visualization. How technology shapes our lives and the human experience is at the center of her work, which develops around the idea of connections between the different systems as the major source of complexity in the environment.
As her professional career unfolds, Spačal grows to be a committed and influential artist whose post-media discourse intends to raise awareness of the effects of technological organisms on our evolution.
12:45 – 13:30 | Piet-Jan van Rossum (countryside composer, NL)
He studied composition with Louis Andriessen, Jan Boerman, Dick Raaymakers and Peter-Jan Wagemans, as well as the organ with Rienk Jiskoot.
Van Rossum above all directs his attention to composing and writing. In his own words: “I look upon myself as a storyteller, as a member of an ancient tribe of shy, wild people who, through stories, sometimes succeed to create another way of experiencing time. My work comprises life as I live it: a piece of wood full of splinters, chunks of beauty and the fracturing or lack of it: lots of waiting, silences. This explains my fascination with scratched movies, lazy eyes, a broken voice, old gramophone-records, growing old. It’s all about looking for a novel beauty in the corrosion of an old (sound)world.”
With some artists he has built a special relationship, people who are devoted to quality and adventure; visual artist Petra van der Schoot, pianist Reinier van Houdt, percussionist Arnold Marinissen, the Ives ensemble and Lunapark. Together with Van der Schoot he founded his own music theatre company: Zoogdier.
14:15 – 15:00 | Ronald van der Meijs (sound artist, NL)
Van der Meijs develops location based sound installations that show how we relate to nature in a technocratic society. These technical structures are a reflection on the location and its history. A field of tension is being created where acceptance plays a major part by creating a dialogue between nature and technology or nature versus culture.
His recent sound performances with inflatable cell structures are based on the research of creating a sound and sculptural dialogue with the audience by amplifying the sounds created by the grow and decay of the installation structures. The aim is to generate a wider experience of the installation object as it makes parallels between the immersive amplified sounds and the slow changes of its identity and atmosphere.
15:00 – 15:45 | Vivian Caccuri (sound artist, BR)
Vivian Caccuri uses sound as the vehicle to cross experiments in sensory perception with issues related to history and social conditioning. Through objects, installations, and performances, her pieces create situations that disorient everyday experience and, by extension, disrupt meanings and narratives seemingly as ingrained as the cognitive structure itself. Vivian has developed projects in many cities in Brazil and abroad, including the Amazon, Accra, Detroit, Helsinki, Vienna, Veneza, Kiev, Valparaíso, New Mexico, South India and more.
moderator: Joep Christenhusz (music journalist, NL)
Joep Christenhusz (1983) studied musicology at Utrecht University as well as musical theory and composition at the Conservatory of Antwerp. He was a lecturer of music history and analysis at the Dutch ArtEZ University of the Arts for several years and is still a member of their Professorship Theory in the Arts.
As a journalist, Joep writes about music for the national daily NRC Handelsblad, feature articles for De Groene Amsterdammer, November Music, VPRO Vrije Geluiden as well as programme notes and other texts for Holland Festival, ntr ZaterdagMatinee, Asko|Schönberg, Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, Dag in de Branding, and deSingel international arts campus. ArtEZ Press published his essay collection Componisten van Babel (2016) on the work of 10 Dutch and Belgian composers of his own generation.
Photo: Pieter Kers