Die Landschaft zerfetzt, öde, kaputt

by Barblina Meierhans and Marcel Zaes

Live-performed sound installation with a strongly amplified extended string quartet performing in an unconventional outdoor setup, four speakers, four microphones and four score supplying computers;
duration 5 hours

By adding a strong artificial sonic layer to the surroundings, Meierhans and Zaes introduce the idea of changing the perception of the specific place/space, which is neither an art nor concert space. The two collaborating sound artists place four string players in a big circle/square and let them act for an extreme and almost inhuman duration. They produce long-sustained tones, which get occasionally interrupted by some rhythmic patterns. Its separate speaker heavily amplifies each string instrument, like a sonic zoom that makes every little detail audible. Computer screens are used in order to synchronize the four string players. They act no longer as a traditional quartet, but as four quasi-autonomous sound producers since they can hardly make visual contact.

Clearly, the resulting sound landscape has a delicate but high significant influence on the perception of the specific place of performance with its own history, inhabitants, memories, architectural epoch etc. As the sound becomes part of that place, as the place becomes part of the sound work. DIE LANDSCHAFT ZERFETZT, ÖDE, KAPUTT calls the term of the «work of art» as well as the term of traditional music performance into question, being no longer «music» nor «concert». Meierhans and Zaes, while doing this sound work of enormous dimensions, invite the spectator to linger in the space, confronting him with delicate and beautiful sounds and shifting his attention from the space to the soundscape and vice versa.

Text: © Marcel Zaes, 2013

Museo d'Arte, Mendrisio CH

11. Oct 2014, 18:00-23:00
ViaVai Pro Helvetia & Musica nel Mendrisiotto
violin: Barblina Meierhans
baritone violin: Katryn Hasler
cello: Bruno Hurtado Gosalvez
double bass: Christian Hamann

Orbital Garden, Berne CH

11. Oct 2013, 19:00-24:00
violin: Barblina Meierhans
baritone violin: Katryn Hasler
cello: René Camacaro
double bass: Adrian Rigopulos

Musikfestival Bern, Marzili-Bad

6. Sep 2013
Musikfestival Bern, "Sound Shuttle"
with the 'vertigo chamber' ensemble
direction: Patrick Jüdt
violin: Eva Grossenbacher
viola: Sophie Wahlmüller
cello: Bruno Hurtado Gosalez
double bass: Adrian Rigopulos

Premiere, Spazi Aperti, Rome IT

Jun 15, 2012
in the context of 'spazi aperti' at the Romanian Academy, Rome
violin: Barblina Meierhans
baritone violin: Katryn Hasler
cello: Murat Kanca
double bass: Luca Pacetti

all photos © 2012-2013 Ivo Saegesser & Marcel Zaes