_new Raudio edition: Raudio #13
No way in, no way out ... Raudio Graffiti: almost live! is a blind wall crammed with sound tags and pieces. It's a whirling stream of sounds clicking, clanking, whooshing, hitting, biting ... of words sung, shouted, whispered, spoken, mainly in dutch and its more southern dialects, but also in german, french, english, spanish, arabic ... it's a streaming whirl of music performed as part of the 2008 Maastricht Kunsttour. It is almost radio. It is almost live. With contributions from our intrepid reporter Timo Alacart, from Arlo Wijnands (Maastricht Moet Je Horen), and extracts from concerts and performances by Kaspar König, Ensemble 88, Maja Gehrig, Klaas Hübner, Simon Berz, Jos Hendriks' band, The Skills, The Paradogma's, Fischorgie, Sjaak Jöbses, f P c M, Har$, ookoi (secret and not-so-secret), and many, many more ... ... Now listen to this ... ]
june 06, 2008.
Sub-cultur(e)-al ex-pression formed the central theme of this year's - the ninth - Kunsttour in Maastricht. It put a proud spotlight on the Landbouwbelang and its impressive graffiti wall. Landbouwbelang is a voluminous former industrial complex - it used to be a grain factory and storage space (the graansilo) - in the very center of the city of Maastricht, on the riverside. The abandoned complex was squatted by a group of artists and students in 2002 and has since developed into an important autonomous center for independent (non-profit and anti-commercial) artistic activity.
As part of the 2008 Kunsttour ookoi, in the best of DIY-traditions
built its own mobile streaming studio: we installed a laptop running Nicecast
on top of a cardboard box (een 'gemaksbak') mounted on a trolley.
Thus equipped we tramped from venue to venue, pulling and steering our trolley
through the streets and up and off the pavements of the old city center
of Maastricht, where much is covered by cobblestones. (Click the pictures
to enlarge ...) Using the Kunsttour's mobile internet connection, we could
have cast it live on the web, on the go and all the way ...
Wherever we landed, the Radio Raudio Mobile recorded what was going on, and we webcast live and on-the-spot the ongoing happenings and performances, moving our trolley from stage to stage. We did so for example at the Landbouwbelang, where on saturday afternoon we arrived just in time to catch Sjaak Jöbses performing.
Somewhere sometimes also ookoi performed. Secretly, or-not-so secretly. Un-announced or announced. Sometimes we were there and announced, but did not perform. Or did we? ... It is thus that, over the weekend of the 9th Maastricht Kunsttour, we built the 13th edition of Raudio's mainstream: "Raudio Graffiti: almost live!".
And all that time our independent Radio Raudio Kunsttour reporter Timo Alacart went around Maastricht interviewing artists and visitors. His intrepid reports were continuously added to the stream, which during the event steadily expanded into a collection of over two hundred and eighty sound files with a total duration of more than seven-and-a-half hours, randomly playing back without beginning, without end ... 24/7 ...
The Timmerfabriek, where this picture was taken, is part of another former industrial complex in the center of town, which used to be home to the Sphinx factories, producers of - principally sanitary - ceramics: urinals, toilet pots, wash basins, and so on ... The city of Maastricht has big plans with this heritage from her troubled industrial past, and intends over the coming years to concentrate within the confines of the former factory buildings a large part of its main cultural activities. Overground, not underground ... The only recently renovated Timmerfabriek (workers applied the finishing touch to the newly laid wooden floor mere hours before kick-off) was this year's Kunsttour's 'center of action'. It is where on the evening of friday may 23rd the opening took place.
The picture above shows the set-up for ookoi's unplugged performance at the Kunsttour's opening, against a cardboard box wall (erected for use in a performance by MAASTERCLASS), with furniture provided by Artifort, celebrating this year's 80/60/50 jubilee of designer Pierre Paulin. Har$ and f P c M sit on his Little Tulips (1965), while our portable battery powered amplifiers (fltr: a Pignose, a green Danelectro Honeytone) and custom modified washing board are supported by Mushroom Pouffes (1960) ...
Even considered that 'curious' and 'peculiar' are among the adjectives to that what ookoi intends to be about, our acte de présence at this Kunsttour did score pretty high in terms of strangeness ( * ) ... Recorded extracts from our live interventions are part of the Raudio Graffiti: almost live! stream, and form the bulk of the four minutes short 40th Raudio Podcast, that is appropriately entitled "ookoi live @ Kunsttour 2008".
And while of course we were far more mobile than last year (when we had a wonderful, but fixed set-up in the Brandweerkazerne), also on foot and pulling a trolley our range of action remained limited. Though ookoi themselves could rely upon f P c M's unsurpassed mastery in hi-speed art-(peep)ing, and hence managed to work itself through quite a decent piece of the Kunsttour pie, we were far from able to taste by ourselves all of its 70 different parts... Without the expansive dynamics of our special reporter Alacart, and the supplementary audio reports contributed by Arlo Wijnands (who does the Maastricht Moet Je Horen website ** ), it would have been impossible indeed to properly audio-cover this Kunsttour in Raudio Graffiti.
ookoi started its little sub-tour on may 24th, the saturday morning after the opening, when - admittedly foremost in search of a bite and lots of coffee - we pulled our trolley across the threshold of the so-called Eiffel building, the heart of what remains of the former Sphinx factory complex, as monumental as it is abandoned. The Eiffel building is situated also on the Boschstraat, just across the road from the Timmerfabriek. It had been the subject of something of a row earlier on, when mere hours before the opening of this Kunsttour, functionaries from the Maastricht council came by, and shut down about half of the immense hall because they declared it to be un-safe ... Therefore, unless trespassing, part of the art there could be viewed only from a distance:
One of ookoi's original ideas for this Radio Raudio Kunsttour,
was to go around town all weekend long as organ grinders, with or without monkey,
but definitely with a genuine mechanical street organ,
playing a custom made ookoi organ book ( ***
It therefore was a pleasant surprise to come upon a small street organ first thing saturday morning may 24th, when we entered the Eiffel building.
The organ is part of MoNUment, a work by dutch artist Natascha Waeyen. A couple of years ago, at the turn of the century and millennium, Natascha used a dot-code to list in order the first 2000 numbered years of our western ac (as opposed to bc) era, in a large b/w painting. She noticed that the list of dotted number-codes looked like a picture of an organ book, and therefore decided to have the list made into an actual organ book, to hear what it would sound like ... Natascha oddly enough from the very start did her utmost to convince us of the a-musicality of the re-sounding of her data-book. "There is nothing, like a, say ... melody ... to it," she told me, and I of course knew what she meant. But why even mention it? It was as if she apologized ... I couldn't help to retort that she should not be so harsh on her time-piece. "Would melody be what I want, then melody be'll what I hear ...," I told her. Pretty much any sound has melody, for melody is but the jump-wise change of pitch over time. Even more so in case of a street organ, which can but produce sounds that are tuned according to our traditional western scales ... Will not just about anything blown into its pipes come out melody? Or did Natascha mean that the result somehow was too non-repetitive? (I often find that people call something 'unmusical', because the sounds they are hearing lack easily discernible 'repetitions' ...)
But when f P c M had a go at cranking the organ wheel, he quickly proved her wrong. It sounded absolutely fabulous. By applying ad lib vari-speed- and reverse-play to Natascha's millennium book, he drew a wealth of amazing puffings and other sonic marvel from the little street organ ... "Hey, ho, let's go!" ... [ You will find several recorded extracts from the early saturday morning organ crankings included in Raudio Graffiti, as well as at the end of the 40th Raudio podcast ... ]
What else? The Radio Raudio Kunsttour mobile that saturday morning left the Eiffel building charged by coffee, rolls, sweets and the sounds of Natascha Waeyen's rocking street organ. It passed the Huis Met Het Handje, turned left and held for a while on the steps of of Jonas van de Vosse's studio. We then passed Lumière, and headed for Intro / In Situ in de Capucijnengang. There we interacted with Paul Devens' Pavilion installation. We sat down, and let it happen, while Paul here and there lend his cylindrical walls a hand. They are meant to be turning by themselves along a circular rail, but as Intro's floor is not completely waterproof, they did not always do so. Here's a uTube showing the installation ...
From Intro we went to Marres, where we dragged the Radio Raudio Kunsttour mobile through André van Bergen en Michiel Kluiters' thoughtful transformation of the in-side of the historical building that houses this Centrum voor Contemporaine Cultuur. It is part of "A l'extérieur. Rites de passages", an exploration, curated by José Teunissen and Eric de Kuyper, of the notion of flaneur (lounger, idler, flâneur ...) as it has come to us - mainly - through the corpus of 19th and early 20th century western literature. The installation includes a re-make of a passage earlier installed by Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol (City Oasis, 2002). It leads visitors from Marres' front door directly into its back garden, disconnecting the central corridor running through the building from the rest of the house.
"Doing nothing is no longer subversive - because it is no longer useless," Bik/Van der Pol observe in their program notes to City Oasis. Now that is a fascinating, though somewhat enigmatic, statement. The more I thought about it and the less that it seemed to make sense, the more it made me feel subversive ... Good enough reason for ookoi to, shortly after leaving Marres, park its trolley somewhat further on in the Capucijnenstraat to do nothing for a while. Nothing. Instead of persisting in our utter subversiveness we had a coffee in the large project space 't Brandweer. [ The "flaneur" installation remains at Marres until july 12th, 2008. Open wednesday through sunday, from 12h till 17h. ]
The pictures above - including the one of ookoi doing nothing
- were shot by Ab König on saturday evening, during the big Detour event
in Kaspar König's
Artspace Rondeel. The ArtSpace is (again) a former industrial
space (far less 'monumental' though than Landbouwbelang or the Eiffel building)
with a large front garden. It is crammed with curious vintage and 'found'
stuff, instruments, machinery, toys, tools, artworks and installations (finished
or in some stage of progress), which give it the appearance of a mad scientist's
laboratory. And, in a way, of course that is what it is ... or should become
:-) ... Viewers in the habit of frequenting european 'art squats'
will feel at home immediately. And probably will be surprised to learn that
actually it is not. Not a squat, I mean.
Though moving 'on the edge', the ArtSpace's all legal, and intends to become a new center for alternative, independent culture, (wo)manned by artists from about everywhere.
Now would not that be fantastic?
Radio Raudio web-streamed the first part of the Rondeel Detour
event non-stop, on the evening of saturday may 24th, from 21 hours until just after
midnight. Our intrepid reporter Alacarte then took over, and continued
his on/off reporting from the Rondeel until far beyond sunrise the next
It was a huge party with a great many visitors, of persuasions as mixed as the evening's program was eclectic. Before midnight it included musicians from the Ensemble 88 performing work by the russian composers Maria Boulgakova and Sofia Gubaidulina, as well as an ArtSpace-brewn duet for violoncello and dancer Vasiliki Tsagari, which saw cello player Jos Kamp (more or less) dancing on stage and - to arguably better effect - had Vasiliki co-bowing the instrument ... There was an audiovisual shadowplay prepared by Kate Donovan and Ryan Hardman, video projections by Berto Aussems and René ter Horst, an electric toothbrush and circuit bent toys duet by Maja Gehrig and Kaspar König, crooner Joost Maaskant doing a selection of dutch populars, accompanied by Bart Rademakers on clavier, and an electric trio consisting in, once again, Kaspar König, but now inter-acting with Simon Berz and Klaas Hübner (Switzerland).
A great many extracts from the evening's live webstream, as well as Timo Alacarte's Radio Raudio Kunsttour special reports, are to be heard as part of Raudio Graffiti.
Also in a very literal sense the Rondeel ArtSpace staff served a great
soup from their well-equipped kitchen, and they came up with delicious and
huge falafels ... On and off they rushed here and there to keep
the stock of beer from falling below mark.
Meanwhile Kaspar courted a couple of visiting council functionaries that had suddenly popped in. Did they come around to check upon security issues? The obligatory Nooduitgang ('emergency exit') signs that Kunsttour director Bert Lemmens had brought along earlier that evening were lying around on the floor next to a pile of cables and modified electronic toys ...
But it did not seem to matter ... The volume of in between performance chatter continued to go up, as did the sound of installations and that of musicians installing; and some seemed to have an awful lot of fun making an awful lot of noise with an awful lot of celluloid from an awful lot of unspooled 16 mm film reels ...
One of the girl-artists (performing before helping out at the bar - or vice versa) poured us a, well ... passable ... scotch in a plastic cup, out of a bottle still filled to the rim ... Then someone ran his fingers through the folds of the back of my green coat and told me that the moon was almost full: here and there he'd heard weird howlings ...
At midnight it started to rain.
There must have been werewolves abound.
But nobody cared.
SoundBlog entries about the yearly Kunsttour in Maastricht, the Netherlands:
(june 06, 2013) - A Carcassonne Yodel in Blue [Kunsttour 2013]
(july 03, 2011) - Life is a Color Wire 3 - table version [KT2011]
(june 17, 2010) - Sunny soundy days [KT2010, iii]
(june 10, 2010) - A kitchen table and a game of cards [KT2010, ii]
(may 30, 2010) - Auto*noom en un*titled [KT2010, i]
(june 13, 2009) - More Best Before [KT2009, v]
(june 01, 2009) - Playing The Popular Classics [KT2009, iv]
(may 30, 2009) - "Also high bridges over the river" [KT2009, iii]
(may 28, 2009) - A sound is a sound that sounds [KT2009, ii]
(may 23, 2009) - It feels like summer in the city [KT2009, i]
(june 06, 2008) - Raudio Graffiti: almost live ! [KT2008]
(september 04, 2007) - "leve ookoi!" - iii. ... under scare vogel
crow vlucht score down ... [KT2007, iii]
(august 22, 2007) - "leve ookoi!" - ii. OK. Let's Dance... [KT2007, ii]
(august 12, 2007) - "leve ookoi!" - i. Certified Reconditioned [KT2007, i]
(june 04, 2006) - Sonofakunsttoer [KT2006]
notes __ ::
(*) In particle collision experiments certain of the manifold of subatomic particles observed, like kaons (K-mesons), always appear to be created as a duo, in pairs. Strangeness is a postulated quality preserved during such a duo's creation, but not in its decay ... [ ^ ]
(**) In the Raudio Graffiti stream you will find extracts of interviews conducted by Arlo at Marres, the Huis Met Het Handje, the Jan van Eyck Academy, and with people who attended a screening of Martijn Hendriks's Give Us Today Our Daily Terror, which is a frame-by-frame copy of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds from which all the birds have been removed (Which reminded me of Tammuz Binshtock's kadooregel - a one minute extract of a football match from which Tammuz, frame by frame, removed the ball - that I knew from the eenminuten dvd (one minute dvd) edited by the Sandberg Institute in 2002.) The full versions of Arlo Wijnands' interviews are available at the Maastricht Moet Je Horen web site. [ ^ ]
(***) The ookoi organ grinders and the ookoi street organ book remain high on our upcoming and to do lists, so stay tuned ... As in most other cases btw, there is nothing much original in the use of a street organ per se. I recall a whole list of - all of them dutch - artists that have been using street organs in more or less unconventional (musical) ways over the past forty, fifty years, from Willem Breuker to Rob Goorhuis and Piet Kee ... Apart from the obvious formal challenge, part of ookoi's interest comes from the fact that organ grinding actually - still! - runs in f P c M's family ... Watching him handle the machine in the Eiffel building, there could be little doubt about this ... [ ^ ]
tags: ookoi, kunsttour, Maastricht, raudio, strangeness, street organ, subversive
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