june 17, 2010.
little bird in the picture, dressed and colored like a Dutch soccer fan
but, unlike the latter, renown for its elaborate song, is the Musician
Wren or Organ Wren. Native to the Amazon Rainforest and
the Amazonian Andes, in Portuguese it is known as
Uirapuru. Legend has it
that the Uirapuru only sings once a year, while building its nest, for no longer than
five to ten minutes in the early morning.
Though anything can happen, it is one of life's lessons that most things never do. I never have been to the Rainforest and there is little chance indeed that in the relatively few of my remaining years I will voyage over there to hear the Musician Wren, this "symbol of rarefied beauty and loneliness", perform in its natural habitat.
It is equally unlikely that the fine cultivated trees
spread over the beautiful green gardens which, during this
year's Kunsttour's days, were bathing in the warm and golden
southern sunshine that enveloped the curvy parkscape of Maastricht's ancient "Art
Quarter", will ever come to host a Musician Wren and its nest.
But just like you and me, also Maastricht trees may have their dreams.
Maybe they dream of Uirapuru...
"A tree is dreaming of Uirapuru" is the beautiful title of an intricate installation by Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec, a sound artist and musician based in Amsterdam and Ljubljana. During this year's Kunsttour it could be found in the garden of the faculty of economics of Maastricht University. Up in a tree's crown there were a number of plastic cylinders that looked like bird's houses. Each of them contained a cassette player powered by a solar cell, and each cassette player was playing back a different fragment of a recording of the Uirapuru's singing, while speed and loudness of the playback varied with the voltage provided by the solar cell.
On the hot sunny sunday afternoon that I visited the installation, I was enchanted. I sat down for a long time in its shadow and together with the tree dreamt of Uirapuru. I guess it must have been part of my dreaming, but I could have sworn that all that time the Uirapuru was singing me the Marseillaise ... [ I captured 4 minutes on my iPhone. It is this unmodified, monophonic recording that you'll find here as this SB-edition's podcast, that you may download and/or listen to by right-clicking this here link ]
Though unlike last year it was not a specific focus, also this year in Maastricht sound art (klankkunst) was very well-represented.
In its work- and exhibition space in the Capucijnengang Stichting Intro/In situ hosted three simple but effective audiovisual installations by the German sound artist Hubert Steins. The picture below shows part of Klangpfad, which was exhibited along with Marchers, a series of photographs by German sculptor Brele Scholz. Stein's Klangpfad consisted in a collection of found wooden church organ pipes connected to 'blowers' that, by means of movement sensors, were activated by the visitors 'marching' around the room and gave rise to a varying and modulating cluster of deep organ tones.
Though obviously different both in idea and intention, the Klangpfad visually but also sound wise nicely echoed last year's installation and performance by Pierre Berthet in the same space: indeed, also Hubert Stein's blowers came from vacuum cleaners.
On the wall of a small and easily overlooked room in the Timmerfabriek the intrepid art digger could exercise her fingers playing Maja Gehrig's electric egg cutter guitar. Not an easy task, though, to make it sound just as fabulous as it looked ...
Far less easy to overlook and -hear was Mike Kramer's Volcanic Delight, set up in the Timmerfabriek's large back hall: a vast field of cheap speakers played back sound recordings of volcanic activity, which triggered the continuous rainy sound of hands full of little pieces of lava dancing on the speakers' cardboard cones.
[ For an impression of Volcanic Delight, have a look at Mike's uTube clip documentation of his Kunsttour installation. ]
Bonne Knibbe is a talented young Dutch artist currently studying Art Science
in The Hague. In one of the Timmerfabriek's back spaces Bonne built her
Room for Reflections. Like the installation of hers that I saw
(and felt and heard) at ARM's
Waiting in The Wings festival in Maastricht last year, also this Room
for Reflections allowed the visitor to solitarily withdraw into a closed
and darkened world inhabited by minimalist patterns of sounds and vision,
and retreat for a while from the busy buzz outside.
To, indeed, reflect...
One sat down in the center of a space bounded by four vertical placed flexible sheets of Plexiglass, that one could move by means of two handles, which enabled the visitor to play with and modify the reflections of the light and the sound coming from the four loudspeakers built into the structure around her.
[ The picture was made by Indra Moonen, who jotted down her own impressions of this year's Kunsttour in her Contrastique blog. ]
As a regular SB viewer you will know that this is not in my habits, but let me for once end a report with sort of a 'holiday souvenir picture'. For, because of the relaxed and no-nonsense atmosphere, the smooth and professional organization, the conviviality and friendship that are an integral part of the undisputable force of the yearly Maastricht Kunsttour, each one of my five consecutive participations has been also kind of a homecoming holiday.
So here's me at this year's Kunsttour's final evening, looking content and approvingly sideways at Bonne Knibbe. We both wear nice hats and enjoy a fresh beer. Bonne and I did have a beer together already more often here or there in Maastricht, but I guess this was the first time someone pictured it. If I remember rightly, Wil Peerboom was the photographer.
[ Previous KT2010-entry: A kitchen table and a game of cards ]
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]
tags: Kunsttour, Maastricht
comments for Sunny soundy days [KT2010, iii] ::
Comments are disabled