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Entries in festivals (15)


Five Sound Questions to Zeno van den Broek

The recurring FIBER Festival, which is happening in Amsterdam on the 15th & 16th of May presents the forefront of audiovisual performances, interactive installations, artist and company showcases and cutting-edge electronic music in one unified experience. This year, the theme is “Subterranean; Exploring Networked Tools and Matter”. With this theme, the festival researches new forms of art that offer a peek into the networked, “smart” landscape which has emerged from a worldwide explosion of digital technology. With an exposition, workshops, a symposium, a club night, and several AV & Music performances, FIBER Festival will immerse the audience in all that is the Subterranean. During FIBER, sound artist Zeno van den Broek will premiere his new AV work Divergence, a synergy between sound, vision, and space.

Zeno’s work revolves around space, spatiality and time, using both the audial and the visual to influence space and spatial awareness. Trained as an architect, Zeno explores the richness and complexity through different modes of expression. His new album and performance “Divergence” explores the tension between space and sound and the sound induced by their manipulated representation. The album is based on pure sound waves such as sine waves and white noise, manipulating these with tape or physically to create a divergence between the perception of sound and space. Real and digital spaces interact with pure and altered sound sources, resulting in an intense sensory reaction and heightened spatial awareness through four movements.

We’re very curious to Zeno’s ideas about sound, and are thus very glad to be able to a Five Sound Questions interview with Zeno!

1. What sound from your childhood made the most impression on you?

One of my strongest memories of sound is the echoing of sounds between the apartment blocks where I grew up. The sound of a motorbike or the claxon of a car was never just the pure single sound but a multiplicity of claxons and motors, moving through the neighborhood which made it often impossible to link the sound to its source.

2. How do you listen to the world around you?

Because I’ve spend so much time intensely listening and analyzing the sound in relation to its surroundings such as reverberation and reflections I have a hard time shutting of this kind of active listening. I often find myself paying more attention to the sound of a space than to the actual subject such as a concert. This does give me beautiful and interesting experiences but sometimes I wish I could just simply enjoy the music. 

3. Which place in the world do you favor for its sound?

I don’t have a specific place I would like to mention but often when people warn me for ‘bad’ places to perform sound in due to things like excessive or weird reverberation. I love working with these places, using their characteristics to shape my sounds and to bring their qualities into expression. 

4. How could we make sound improve our lives?

If we all would be more aware of the impact the sounds we create have for our surroundings we would be able to improve our living environment. A sound is not something you can just turn away from and it will disappear, sound infiltrates our bodies and minds and can alter our being. The spatial area sound interacts with is something that is often overlooked.

5. What sound would you like to wake up to?



Thanks Zeno! See answers by other artists in the Five Sound Questions section, and be sure to Zeno out at the FIBER Festival on the 16th of May in Amsterdam or at the Divergence release party at Vechtclub XL on the 24th of May in Utrecht!


TRACK - A fine weekend in Ghent

Here’s a little preview of all the nice things I encountered while visiting Belgium for a weekend of artistic surprises. From May till September 16th TRACK - a contemporary city conversation adds a little spice to the already beautiful city of Ghent. 

An huge structure of old swimming pools, mobile homes and other junk. detitled, 2012 by Peter Buggenhout

Of course my main interest was to see what sound-related projects were there, but I was impressed by the other contemporary art forms as well. Expect to be surprised by large, intense works of art, all telling their own story. 

This heap of concrete doesn’t mean anything…. until we know it resembles the exact amount of concrete used in the building in the background. De betonberg, 2012 by Lara Almarcegui

It brings visitors to places he/she would never have discovered otherwise. An old abandoned boxing school next to an old industrial site, an empty monumental directors residence, or some psychiatric center. TRACK encourages and enables you to explore the secret corners and the rough edges of the city. A very pleasant experience!

Due to a camera which was left in Belgium (but will be back next week, hopefully, as it contains a lot of photos and movies), I’ll save more detailed information about the sound-related projects of TRACK for later - so stay tuned! 



I know, a lot of people are talking about the Beatles’ music finally being available in the iTunes store. But the concept for this sound installation was developed long before that fact. In Yesterday, 21 music boxes play the Beatles song together, but not in sync.  

The walls and the floor of the room resonate as the mixture of the Yesterday’s notes form a new composition. The makers, Evelien van den Broek and Dyane Donck created the installation as a “tribute to yesterday (the day all troubles seemed so far away)”, for the November Music Festival.

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More TodaysArt 2010

On Monday I wrote about the sound installation ‘!’ which I saw at the TodaysArt festival last weekend. I only had time to visit during the day program, so I had a look at different parts of the exposition. Here are some more things I would like to share with you.

The above image is Squeeeque, an igloo made of old speakers by Alexis O’Hara. Visitors can enter the unit and play around with microphones, which will result feedback trough the speakers, creating an immersive sonic environment. It’s a bit of a toy, but it does really look great.   

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! at TodaysArt Festival

This weekend I visited the TodaysArt festival in The Hague. The festival explores the newest forms of art, music and technology. After having some fun with RovoVox, a giant 8 meter tall robot that will speak any text you send via SMS, I entered the impressive Atrium, The Hague’s city hall to be surprised by !

! is an installation by sound artist and researcher Anke Eckardt, which explores her theory of ‘vertical hearing’. Every three minutes a sound comes from above and ‘drops’ into a puddle of black water. It seems like an invisible object causes the splash, yet it must be a huge woofer beneath the surface.

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One of the great artists answering our Five Sound Questions was Enrico Ascoli. His latest work is Foodjob, a culinary and sonic performance, presented at this year’s Interferenze festival in Bisaccia, Italy. 

For a person who loves sound and loves food (someone like me) this has to be a great performance. I almost makes me hungry again although I just had dinner. It’s like that Magnum commercial in the movie theatre, in which the chocolate breaks with such a delicious cracking sound, I want one instantly. I know it’s just a marketing trick, but if sound is used in the right way, they get me. 


The Space In Between / Alpha-ville festival

The Alpha-ville festival is a new London-based digital arts, music and culture event that will take place on the 17th and 18th September 2010. The theme of this year’s festival is Visionary Cities.

One of the acts performing live at the festival is The Space In Between, a collaboration between electronic composer Nikka and visual software developer Alba G. Corral. Their video “Melophase” (shown above) gives you a impression of their work. It is a good example of how sound and visuals can come together and interact in one experience.  

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Green Sound Soundwave Festival San Francisco

Inflorescence 2010 sound and performance installation - June 17, Soundwave Festival

The Soundwave Festival, organized every two years by ME’DE.ATE will have the theme ‘Green Sound’ this year and will take place from June 6 till August 13, 2010 in San Francisco. The festival combines sound art and sound installations with innovative performances, experimental, classical and popular music. 

With the Greeen Sound theme the festival will explore the natural world and environmental issues, together with over 75 artists and musicians. Looking at the list of artists it is nice to see Alyce Santoro, who was one of the first to answer the Five Sound Questions, is one of them. 

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ElectroSmog Festival

The ElectroSmog festival takes place this weekend in various places all over the globe with as main ‘hub’ the Balie in Amsterdam. It is a festival about sustainable immobility and it explores a way to a more sustainable lifestyle using local resources, while at the same time being more connected to the rest of the world, using new technologies and networks. 

An interesting subject, but it does not have anything to do with sound. I show you the leader because the last few days I have been busy creating the soundtrack for it, so this time you get a glimpse of some of my own work for a change. The visuals are made by Jeroen Joosse, and I tried to create sounds that fit them as tightly as possible. 


The Poetics of Space

The World Soundscape Project group in 1973 with Barry Truax, second from the right.

Last weekend I attended the thirteenth edition of the Sonic Acts festival. This year’s theme was “The Poetics of Space”. I heard some interesting pieces of music, lots of noise (literally), saw a lot of abstract moving images and a few interesting lectures.

Barry Truax

I found some of the Saturday sessions especially interesting. Barry Truax gave a lecture on acoustic space and composing with the environment. Barry is well known for his electroacoustic and computer music and was part of the World Soundscape Project group (pictured above), a group founded by R. Murray Schafer at the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver to research the changes in the sonic environment. He also created the first implementation of real-time granular synthesis in 1986.  

During his lecture he spoke about how spaces influence sounds, how sound have spaces inside them and how we can use this in compositions. When you record a sound, you automatically record the space around that sound as well, so in Barry’s words:

Each sound tells us where it has been.


We were treated to some beautiful sound examples on the eight-channel system (“Eight channel is the new stereo”), including a preview of his newest work Challice Well, which was played later that day in its full length at Paradiso. 

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