Die Entdeckung der Langsamkeit (2019)

Steelcello and overtonesinger

Composed with support of the Dutch Performance Arts Fund

In 2017 I met soundartist Jan Heinke while working on my music-theatre piece Koerikoeloem thanks to Hans van Koolwijk, who said he would be the perfect guy to build the aeolian harps needed
for my projectEver since that moment I keep being astounded by his immense talent both as a musician and a craftsmanNot only did he build many beautiful soundsculptures in steel, he also appeared to be a vocal artist capable to produce unimaginable vocal soundsNever did I hear someone sing two-part counter-point all by himself, controlling both his voice and the overtone-spectrum surrounding it.

In our discussions about his work as a soundartist often the word 'slownessfellThe slowness it takes to make the steelcello speak, the slowness that is necessary to start learning to control overtones with ones voiceIt requires another kind of virtuositythe one of focus, of 'being therein the sound itself, taking time.

I started off this journey in a completely abstract way, calculating timeslots in which I would place equally abstract sound objectsBut gradually they became more and more like characters in a wordless novel, demanding their ways of development and relationships towards each otherThey each appeared to have an expressive quality that was unspeakable, pre-linguistic.

Finally, again thanks to the efforts of Heinke, it became a deeply meditative piece, breathing, taking time, or maybe setting it still just like the old clock-face in Heinke's workplace without hands....