Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Stephan von Huene, Text Tones @ Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Ger 4/21/10

I had lunch with a friend who had some free tickets to this museum. Why not? I spent my 2nd to last afternoon in Hamburg exploring this magnificent museum. I didn’t realize there were 2 parts, so I was first in the old part and it was so great, that I spent a lot of time over there. When I went looking for the Pop Life exhibition, I found out there is a whole other building with some permanent contemporary works. One of the first things I find is this amazing work by Stephan von Huene called “Text Tones”. Here’s some pictures:

I kept coming back to this room because it sounded amazing. There was a 1 page write-up on what was going on, but it was in German, so I had to figure out what I could on my own. I found an article on it here (I excerpted a description):
At first glance, the viewer registers no more than sleek white pedestals supporting horizontally mounted aluminum tubes, but the true spirit of the piece unfolds as an acoustic collage. Concealed microphones record the random sounds generated in the exhibition space, store and mix them and replay the results to a "percussion" accompaniment of miniature hammers striking the pipes. The elegantly minimalist form, the layering of acoustic signals and the interactive aspect of the piece are principles that engaged von Huene as lecturer and author, as well. It is no coincidence that what emerges from "Text Tones" is a musical composition, an endlessly varied electronic sextet, not unrelated to the works of John Cage.

It was amazing. It sounded great! I am so impressed by it because he essentially created instruments that play wonderful music without a human working it.

There was also a diagram:

This exhibit alone was worth the entire extra time in Hamburg.

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