4 min read 🤓

Holland[s] Spoor

september 21, 2023

Hollands Spoor is the name of the eldest train station in The Hague, the de facto capital of the Netherlands. It is also the name that Rinus van Alebeek proposed us to use on the occasions that the two of us do dictaphonic performances, other than within the warm nest of our Diktat. It is an appropriate one. Whether written with the genitive 's' (as in the station's official name that was derived from the 'Hollandsche IJzeren Spoorweg-Maatschappij', the first railway company in the Netherlands), or without. That, by the way, is vaguely a moot point. We more or less agreed on both versions being a-ok: sometimes you'll see the 's', sometimes you won't. Depending on where and when you are looking from, say 🤓.

There have been but few of such duo-occasions. The very first one, Holland Spoor avant la lettre, presented itself in 2006, precisely one week after the birth of Diktat, when on the evening of Good Friday, April 14th, we performed in Heerlen, in (the no longer existing) culture centre De Nor. Others that spring to mind is the—with the passing of time by now almost fit of being labeled 'legendary'—Fifty-Fifty event, on the occasion of our combined century living; and the performances we did in the year of the K7's fiftieth birthday.

A fortunate confluence of circumstances and availabilities put Hollands Spoor back on the rails again this late summer. We went on a 'micro tour', a 'weekend tour', of The Hague.

Hollands Spoor onderweg

Our first stop was on Saturday September 2nd, at West Den Haag, an impressive contemporary art center in the former American Embassy. With special thanks to Radio Tonka's Wouter Vervaart, aka krankpappa, who made Hollands Spoor part of the live line up of that Saturday's 'Onze Ambassade Festival'. We set up on a round table, in the institute's Alphabetum, a library and reading room. Or, in West's words, a 'space to explore the formative and formal aspects of language'.

West Den Haag, Alphabetum

While setting up we had a chance to discover and explore Stéphane Mallarmé unfinished 'magnum opus' (though some still insist it's a mere heap of notes about a such eventual work's structure and creations, notes that the poet/writer himself actually had wished to end up in some bin or for his heirs to burn ( * )), called Le Livre. Indeed, in the Arboretum we were surrounded by prints of all facsimiles of these notes Mallarmé made for his 'The Book', a surprising and welcome decor for the live K7 cut-up-ing that we embarked on later that evening. Its (maybe) goal of reaching out for a book that will be an absolute 'other' in the realm of books, it of course also our reminded that there is also still and always The B.ookoi to be written...

The following couple of photographs of Holland Spoor's performance that Saturday evening September 2nd at West were shot by Lula Valletta.

West Den Haag, Alphabetum

West Den Haag, Alphabetum

West Den Haag, Alphabetum

Interesting that Rinus as well as me actually felt that (with the passing of time) 'K7- and dictaphones-only' performances like these maybe really start to need some sort of an 'introduction before playing', an explanation on materials, methods and goals. Something that already the next day, we put into practice, when the second half of our weekend tour brought us to the HOK Galerie also in The Hague, where we cassetteered, again seated, like the evening before in West, at a round table, this time by daylight. But before embarking upon our improvised sonic parcours, we talked to the not too numerous but very attentive audience about cassettes in general, and the ones that we had brought along in particular. And about what it is that makes cassette players and dictaphones indeed like instruments that one can play, also, or maybe even more, when they start to malfunction. Which is what, of course, eventually, all of them will do.

Here's some more pics, also shot by Lula Valletta:

HOK Galerie, 3 september

HOK Galerie, 3 september

Thank you, Wouter! Thank you, Lula!

notes __ ::
(*) You may wonder why a writer or scientist or an artist who does not want (some of) h-er/-is—unfinished— work to be published after h-er/-is death does not just destroy the manuscripts and other things h-er/-imself in order to be sure of this. But the wish of course is for such work to disappear along with its author. I do not want such a work in progress to be destroyed before my demise, for the simple reason that for as long as I am still alive, I will want to continue working on the thing... [ ^ ]

Read all about Found Tapes, Foundtaping and Audio Cassettes (K7s) on the SoundBlog:

(2023, september 21) - Holland[s] Spoor
(2022, january 11) - 'The Art of K7', vol. 1
(2021, september 11) - The Art of K7 :: Sudokaising [ii] Time Folds
(2020, march 21) - The Art of K7 :: Sudokaising [i]
(2019, november 17) - Foundtapers & Foundtaping in Porto
(2019, februay 08) - CCNL :: Cassette Culture in Linz, Austria [ii] The aesthetics of erasure
(2019, januay 18) - CCNL :: Cassette Culture in Linz, Austria [i] Oral history
(2015, november 22) - Situasonnisme: the City Sonic Festival
(2014, june 19) - Lecture de Cassette
(2013, october 25) - The Art of K7 (prelude) [sketch/book, 1]
(2013, march 23) - "Ma première cassette était vierge..." Mourning & celebrating 50 years of compact cassette
(2012, july 26) - UnOfficial Release
(2010, november 28) - Foundtaping, Maps & Shadows at the Basel Shift Festival (i.)
(2009, november 15) - prof. dr. Cassette
(2009, november 08) - A found tapes meta-map
(2009, october 22) - Founded Tapapes
(2009, september 20) - Found Lost Sound
(2009, july 26) - "You, a bed, the sea ..." [ 1. Athens, sept. 28th 1994 ]
(2009, may 23) - It feels like summer in the city [KT2009, i]
(2009, february 19) - Time and the weather - "? Footage or Fetish" @ Käämer 12, Brussels (ii)
(2009, january 30) - A Tingel Tangle Tape Machine - "? Footage or Fetish" @ Käämer 12, Brussels (i)
(2009, january 15) - Kassettenkopf
(2008, december 08) - un-Tuned City (foundtaping in Neukölln)
(2008, september 14) - Psycho/Geo/Conflux in Brooklyn, NY __i.
(2008, august 31) - " Le chasseur " (foundtaping in brussels_ii)
(2008, june 18) - "Sing Laping, Sing !" (foundtaping in brussels_ i)
(2008, january 06) - Mo' Better Mo-Tapemosphere, 2. Restmuell
(2007, june 16) - Mo' Better Mo-Tapemosphere, 1. "chase away all my fear"
(2007, march 07) - Back to Berlin 2. Found Tapes
(2006, september 28) - jenny likes poets
(2006, september 06) - the sound of almost-no-more words
(2006, june 13) - fotex #49-51
(2006, june 04) - Sonofakunsttoer
(2006, april 17-25) - 'sudoku-solution' in 'de nor'
(2006, january 19) - ride, buggy, ride ... !
(2006, january 13) - axiologie for dummies
(2005, november 06) - found in maastricht
(2005, august 28) - tête-de-tettine / tête-de-cassette
(2005, august 23) - tape busters and coordinates
(2005, july 02) - Conquering America ...
(2005, june 03) - stationed soother
(2005, april 21) - Low-fi : the new Readymades
(2005, march 24) - d_Revolution #1 ...
(2005, february 07) - found tapes for spies
(2005, january 28) - "parfois l'amour tourne à l'obsession ..."
(2004, november 06) - à la tranquilité
(2004, july 20) - instructions in arabic
(2004, may 08) - phound stufphs
(2003, august 04) - new acquisitions #7, #8
(2003, may 04) - r2r
(2003, april 24) - splice and tape
(2003, april 15) - new acquisitions #5,#6
(2003, january 09) - finders keepers
(2002, november 24) - exhibit #4
(2002, november 08) - what fascinates me
(2002, november 07) - more on found tape montage
(2002, september 14) - detour
(2002, september 09) - 2 down, 3 to go
(2002, september 06) - magnetic migration

Read about Found Tapes in Gonzo (Circus) [Dutch]:

Gonzo #163, mei/juni 2021 - Lang Leve Lou Ottens
Gonzo #137, januari/februari 2017 - Het Kaf en het Koren

tags: Rotterdam, Hollands Spoor

# .531.

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