FRIDAY 13th : La Triple Entente :: On friday march 13th, at La Comète 347 in Paris, you may attend the first ever SIMULTANEOUS EAI concert , curated by Jean Bordé. That evening in three different corners of La Comète three different EAI-groups (La Brocante Sonore [Belgium/France], DIKTAT [Paris/Berlin], and Nozal Cube [France]) will perform at the same time ... Be there at 20h30 ...

PETIT PARIS: das kleine à PARIS :: On saturday march 14th Radio Aligre FM/SoP and Ana-R present the first Parisian edition of das kleine fieldrecordings festival, the renowned running festival organized and curated by Rinus van Alebeek, dedicated to the divers ways in which artists make use of fieldrecordings: the recorded sounds of our environment ... Place to be: Espace Radio Aligre, 42 rue de Montreuil, Paris XI. Rinus himself will be the event's maître de cérémonies... That's from 17h till 21h ...

A weekend at the Ateliers Claus

march 10, 2009.

[ podcast :: sbpc 28 ... s ]

In the wake of the "? Footage or Fetish" found tapes exhibition and installation in Käämer 12, just across the street in the Rue Crickxstraat we had a great weekend of party and music. logo LACThe building at number 15 is a former furniture warehouse which Frans Claus over the years has transformed into Les Ateliers Claus. Together with his family he has his living quarters on the second and third floor; the spaces on the basement, ground and first floor, and the roofed in courtyard are at the disposal of the - often multidisciplinary - artists and projects that arrive in the rue Crickxstraat, and that in one way or another may sail under a flag that carries the motto "between art & rock 'n' roll".

Early 2006 Frans Claus began curating and hosting a series of events in his Ateliers, on a monthly basis. Small scale and fringe either because the artists concerned are young, just emerging and still searching for a 'proper place'; or because they have continued their 'searching' for much of a lifetime and are not likely to ever 'arrive' (whether that be by choice or by destiny).
It is in these regions of the creative spectrum that the sort of things are bound to happen that Frans Claus has always been passionate about, be it in film, literature, theatre, music, the visual arts, or wherever. These are the sort of things for which the doors of the Ateliers will swing wide open.

The result is a personal and intuitive program, eclectic and surprising, completed by an excellent technical and logistic support that will enable presentations under the best possible of conditions. It therefore is no biased exaggeration that I think that the Ateliers Claus is one of the few currently active fringe 'hot spots' here in the european west that have a potential to become 'mythic'.

Frans Claus

Frans Claus (r.) slightly adjusting this blog's author's (l.) physique, in Käämer 12, Brussels - january 18th, 2009 (original photo by Jean-Jacques Duerinckx)

On saturday january 25th the Ateliers Claus were pretty much packed. The evening opened at 21h with the Uské Orchestra, that is, l'homme orchestre Nicolas Husquet (the one in the picture below seen from the back, wearing the pointed hat) who had installed himself and his machinations in what is best described as a cross between a balcony and a wild animal's cage up against the back wall of the roofed over courtyard.

Uské Orchestra

Nicolas Husquet's one man orchestra performing in the 'cage' up in the courtyard of the Ateliers Claus in Brussels (Photo © Reinhilde Terryn)

With our ad hoc KYDS Quartet we had a few hours earlier crossed the city in Frans' van to record a session at FM Brussel, for Nico Bogaerts Sounds and Emotions program. I am curious to hear these recordings back, as that radio session was the pivot in a veritable triptych: three performances, all three under very different conditions and in very different places. All took place within the relatively short time span of 24 hours, which - interestingly - brought clearly to the fore how big the influence of place, setting and audience is on this type of EAI performance, where the music arises as the result of intricate, multifaceted interaction and a complex symbiosis between the musicians and their environment.

On friday evening, january 23rd we performed in the intimacy of Zahava Seewald's living room, for her family and the friends that she had invited. (See the pictures just below, taken by Alain Mihaly. An extract from the recording of our performance there is this entry's podcast, for you to listen to and/or download.)

KYDS chez Zahava KYDS chez Zahava

Saturday afternoon in the small studio space of FM Brussel it was hot, and then gradually gettin' hotter; we were placed around a table that took up most of the space. We had to test-play to get the balance right, stopped; then test-played again, stopped; and then test-played another time, before recording a session, performed only for Nico and the microphones.
After we hurried back to Saint-Gillis, where we arrived just in time for the meal that the Ateliers had reserved for saturday's musicians in Porte d'Europe, a portuguese restaurant-brasserie, just around the corner of the rue Crickxstraat.

We performed after the Uské Orchestra, starting from 22h, on the first floor of the Ateliers Claus, before the windows, with the curtains open, so the light from the street outside mingled with the stage lights. The stage, the lights, the fine amplification and the Ateliers Claus audience, provided yet another radically different atmosphere, and hence resulted in a set very different from both a few hours earlier at FM Brussel, and the other evening at Zahava's. I'd say that the Ateliers Claus inspired an approach more 'rock 'n' roll' ... Now that's relative of course, but it's how it felt ... grin

Quartet KYHD

KYDS at Ateliers Claus (from left to right): Jonas Kocher (accordion), Har$ (tapes & things), Jean-Jacques Duerinckx (sopranino), Raed Yassin (bass & things). (Photo © Reinhilde Terryn)

After our performance on the first floor, on the small stage back down in the roofed-in court-yard, around 23h the Brussels 5-piece Funk Sinatra that is currently going through an orange period, took over ...

Funk Sinatra

Funk Sinatra performing on the courtyard stage of the Ateliers Claus in Brussels, on saturday january 25th. (Photo © Reinhilde Terryn)

Each of the three performance spots had its own, independent, amplification system, which allowed everyone to set up at ease, keep the settings, and best of all: it made for smooth transitions, as there was no need to break down and set up things, before the start of a next act. Moreover each of the spots in the Ateliers comes with its own, proper 'character'. The first floor seems best for things that ask some concentration and listening; the "cage", that's theatre; and Funk Sinatra of course chose the small court-yard stage next to the bar, which is where it'll be best to party ...

grundigOn sunday, for the afternoon that was to be the finale of a fruitful week in Käämer 12 and the Ateliers Claus, Jean-Jacques Duerinckx and I chose the small court-yard stage as the setting for another post-alter free style exercise dedicated to Daniel Spoerri. In this episode of "A Table!" two old reel-to-reel tape machines that used to belong to Jean-Jacques' uncle Jules Duerinckx played the central role.
One of these is the Grundig TK20 that you see in the picture to the right, an 'all tube' machine made in Germany in 1960. (Here is a YT clip demonstrating one.) I used it in our recordings and performance at the Ateliers Claus, together with one of uncle Jules' tapes filled with organ music.
The other one was an even older machine, made by the (no longer existing) belgian firm ACEC (Ateliers de Construction Électrique de Charleroi) in the 1950s. (Maybe it's their Model 152, but I'm not quite sure; I should check.)
After some fifty odd years, both machines in fact still work fine. We used the ACEC to record, using the original microphone that came with it. I find the resulting recordings highly interesting, not only because of their vintage monophony, but also because of a very 'edgy' distortion that makes the loud passages sound like sandpaper ... In the following picture you see the ACEC in Käämer 12, during one of the sessions J.J. and I did there in the week of january 19th. ( * )

ACEC machine

For our sunday performance in the Ateliers Claus we put the ACEC on the table, where it had a double function: it was recording all that happened (in mono, with the original microphone), but we also used another pair of microphones to amplify the mechanical noises it makes. It was one of the two 'environmental' sources that we integrated, the second being the sounds from outside in the rue Crickxstraat, which were picked by an outside microphone and integrated in that afternoon's post-alter free style exercise ... The following is a YouTube extract from our performance, quite appropriately called "l'Entonnoir et la boîte" ("A funnel and a can") (thanks to Reinhilde Terryn for filming this).

The old tape machine on the table made me feel like Krapp. I walked up the stage carrying the Grundig TK20 like it were a valise, or a portable typewriter, put it down, and I took off my vest and my hat. I plugged the tape recorder into a socket, and unlocked and lifted the machine's cover. By turning the reels with my hands I adjusted the tape. I blew off some of the dust it had collected. When I then turned the large switch to set it in motion, I found myself mumbling the old man's memorable first words in that fabulous monologue by Samuel Beckett: "Box . . . thrree . . . spool . . . five .... Spool! .... Spooool! ..." ...


Har$, Grundig and audience arriving à table, in the Ateliers Claus in Brussels, on sunday january 25th, 2009 (Photo © Reinhilde Terryn)


Har$ à table in the Ateliers Claus in Brussels, on sunday january 25th, 2009. Or would that be ? (Photo © Reinhilde Terryn)

notes __ ::
(*) The track 'Le Magazine de l'Orgue' is an extract from the recording that we did on the ACEC machine on wednesday january 21st 2009, in Käämer 12. You can listen to it on the "A Table!" mySpace page. [ ^ ]

tags: Brussels, Les Ateliers Claus, Käämer 12, A Table!, Jonas Kocher, Raed Yassin, Jean-Jacques Duerinckx, tape recorder, Samuel Beckett

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