Gaudeamus the most beautiful and oldest new music festival in The Netherlands has nominated me to become their new artist in resident for upcoming season 2017-2018 and beyond. Humbled, honoured, excited, inspired, encouraged to discover more, to refine more, to share more. Huge gratitude for allowing me to flourish with your support: new ideas for new work and new collaborations already sprout… To be continued !
Proud to share the news that our improv collective Varkenshond (BE/NL) will be releasing its third album this Autumn 2017, via Belgian record label Aguirre Records. No audiocassette release this time, yet a nice little step back into analogue history. All is to be issued on good ol’skool vinyl in a limited edition of 180 pieces only. Live Varkenshond performances will happen from December onwards in both Belgium and Holland. Dates will follow.
My artistic residency at Lijiang Studio is coming to an end. Tomorrow is my last full day and last chance to make some fieldrecordings in rural Yunnan. Fridaymorning I may witness a Dongba ritual, in the afternoon I’ll be flying to Shanghai for an extended weekend of fieldrecording in a urban environment. Next Tuesday I’ll be crossing the Pacific Ocean direction Montalvo Arts, California, USA for my second artist residency this summer.
• Click here for pics from my travels to Beijing, Lijiang, Lashihai, Dali, Shaxi & Shanghai (July/August 2017)
• Read here more about Asia On Tape, an offspring of my ongoing project Africa On Tape
Globalization and telecommunication at its best ! Today Vincent Meessen and me had a talk about the exhibition Patterns for (Re)cognition at Radio Klara (VRT). Vincent live from the radio studio in Brussels. And me – via the phone – live from Lijiang Studio Yunnan, rural China, lower Himalayas (Yes, flew almost directly from East-Africa to East Asia. Here right now in an absolutely fabulous residency run by Jay Brown & curated by Crystal Pascucci). Vincent and me were talking about Tshela Tendu’s pioneering Congolese modern art in the 1930’s, Tshela Tendu’s one time accidental meeting with Jan Vansina in the 1950’s. In case u missed it, here a link to the radio interview (in Dutch).
My art practice will be featured in three new publications this year.
• There’s Bozar (Center for Fine Arts, Brussels) who’s publishing a new book on September 8th, featuring a.o my collaboration with Vincent Meessen for the current Bozar exhibition Patterns for (Re)cognition. A 2nd book presentation will be held on Sept 20th in MACBA, Barcelona.
• Errant Bodies Press (Berlin) is preparing the new book publication the other the self , expected upcoming autumn. curated by Q-02
• Q-02 (Brussels) published Tales of Sonic Displacement (June 2017). Read it online or order a print copy via firstname.lastname@example.org [ free, but shipping not included – more info here ]
click here for new photos from my travels to Rwanda, D.R. Congo and Uganda, june/july 2017
Très Grand Merci – Super dank my countless dear friends, colleagues and former teachers (!): the vernissage in Bozar was thanks to your visit a dream come true. My first happening and exhibition in Belgium as a sound artist, but what a blissful experience. – click here for more expo and vernissage pics.
… and last but not least: thank you Vincent Meessen for your invitation into this inspiring collaboration
Preparing w Vincent Meessen a revised version of Sampling the Man of Memory, for Patterns for (Re)cognition, exhibited at Bozar, Brussels ( June 15th till September 10th 2017). – special thanks to Philippe Vandendriessche
Sampling the Man of Memory is a sound sculpture for a.o. 4 Nagra analogue tape recorders, starring the voice of Jan Vansina (see pic), the godfather of oral history, on his one-time encounter with pioneering Congolese visual artist Thela Tendu.
Jan Vansina passed away last February 8th 2017, the same day I had just started preparing for a new field recording trip to DR Congo, Uganda and Rwanda (with visual artist Isabelle Vigier). I was shocked by the news, but the sharp memory of Vansina’s generosity, fire and passion instantly encouraged me to never give up learning more about the underexposed and precious histories of the African continent.
Here a link to the Wisconsin University tribute page, in honor of Jan Vansina (1929-2017)
If you are tomorrow in The Hague you could witness the birth of a trio featuring Abel Fazekas (HU) and Riccardo Marogna (IT) both on bassclarinet (!) and myself as a soprano singer.
– special thanks to Michael Pisaro and his inspiring concert in The Hague a few monhts ago, as that’s where one of the first seeds were planted for this new collaboration – now daydreaming of tomorrow May 19th, that’s when we will have our ‘worldpremiere’ at Studio Loos, in The Hague/ Same night same place also worth to check out some utterly beautiful new work (performative and installation) by Lauge Dideriksen/Julie Hasfjord, Adam Bonser and Daniel Fabris.
Before traveling to the ISCM World New Music Days in Vancouver in November, Kropka na Ogonie & Soroka Fruwa will also be performed at Gaudeamus Muziekweek upcoming September. This as part of New Makers New Music-Series, in Utrecht (NL). And some more bonding is happening with Gaudeamus… Updates will follow
Received the wonderful news that Kropka na Ogonie & Soroka Fruwa, written for and performed by Marianna Soroka, got selected as Belgian entry for the ISCM World New Music Days 2017, in Vancouver upcoming november !! Over the moon, and yes Marianna and me, we are definitely going.
Early April 2017 a double interview of composer Martijn Padding and myself will appear in Dutch newspaper AD
Over the moon to announce my newest collaboration with visual artist Isabelle Vigier. Traveling together to Ishango in DR Congo to gather inspiration for our new multi media performance commissioned by Dutch Electra Ensemble (premiere early 2018, tbc ) - Starting point will be an in depth investigation of the African origin of mathematical thought. - Special thanks to Ivan Godfroid!
So happy I shared the stage last week with Maya Felixbrodt and Dganit Elyakim in Tel Aviv, as well did some sound walks and field recording in Tel Aviv, Jaffa & Jerusalem. Uplifting, inspiring, rejuvenating but … at times also tough landscapes and sad soundscapes.
Tombstones, a breathtaking beautiful song cycle by Michael Pisaro
a selection of the songs as performed at Studio I – The Hague 07.02.2017 by
aurelie lierman (voc.), abel faszekas (bass cl.), leo svirsky (pno, acc.), kuba krzewinski (violin), liew niyomkarn (e-guitar), orestis willemen (e-guitar), wilco oomkes (acc.),
* HAPPY 2017 * looking forward to a variety of field recording trips and other artistic projects in Israel (Tel Aviv, Jerusalem), Uganda (Kampala), DR Congo (North Kivu), Rwanda (Virunga Mountains), China (Beijing, Li jiang – Yunnan province, Shanghai), USA (Los Angeles/San Francisco/Montalvo – California), Canada (Vancouver).As well exciting new collaborations in The Netherlands, where I plan to be based for a little while.
Detailed updates on all this and so much more, will follow on my agenda here and on my Facebook.
Meanwhile my best wishes to all of you. To an inspiring and blissful 2017 !
Received – totally out of the blue – the wonderful news this morning that I got awarded an artistic residency (and stipend) at Lijiang Studio in Yunnan, China. Tremendously honored and humbled. Thank You !
Tremendously honored that Kropka na Ogonie/Soroka Fruwa (2016, starring Marianna Soroka) has been pre-selected as the Belgian entry for the ISCM World New Music Days 2017 in Vancouver (Canada). News about the final selection will follow early April 2017.
.. meanwhile slowly descended from my journey on sub alpine altitudes in Rwanda. It was a soft and gentle landing into the Lowlands.
Currently developing a brand new sonic sculpture and a new composition for a set of large African drums, field recordings and children choir! I’m so excited that both are commissioned by Slagwerk Den Haag – one of my all time favorite music ensembles – and that both are to be premiered, early 2017, at this magnificent Richard Meier building (the City Hall of The Hague) as a part of City of Sounds.
Slagwerk Den Haag is spreading the love for sound by organizing many workshops and some fab contest for kids, all around the idea of listening and collecting sounds in the city of The Hague – Go and check out http://cityofsounds.nl
if u want to see more pics of the Richard Meier building, click on this one above
This is my grandfather, a light-hearted, powerful and wise soul. Current age estimated between 106 and 112 years old. Just some days ago I went to visit him at his home in rural Rwanda.
He is said to be one of the last traditional medicine men in northern Rwanda. People sometimes travel up to 100 km, often barefoot, to get cured by him. In his younger years he would go for epic walks into the subalpine forests of the Virunga mountains: to collect herbs and minerals for his medical practice, to hunt all sorts of wild life and also for beekeeping and honey collecting. He has lived all his live at the foot of volcano Mt. Karisimbi, my own birthplace, just at the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. In my grandfather’s mind that border didn’t really exist. He used to go freely wherever the journey’s leading to.
I consider my grandfather a miracle of our contemporary times: he is the only person I know off who’s experienced all the major (often atrocious) events and transformations a Rwandan person could possibly experience in the 20th and early 21st century. He was around when the pre colonial kingdom of Rwanda was still in function, has seen the early transitions towards colonization by the Germans, quickly followed by the Belgians who drastically overturned every aspect of Rwandan society. There was the violence and turmoil of the Rwandan Revolution in the 50’s and the independency throughout the ’60’s, 70’s and 80’s. There was the 1994 Genocide and the post-war massacres – amongst the worst in his village and region. And yet – in spite of this all – he still is driven by an endless positivity and unconditional love towards his fellowman and environment. His great sense of humor is unstoppable and his erupting laughters and whirling naughty giggles are contagious.
We met last in 2011, and I went to visit him again mid August and last saturday, for some in-depth talks. Especially his revelations about his life as a hunter and traditional doctor were for me – having grown up in the totally different environment of Bruges in Belgium- mind blowing.
An African proverb says “When an African man dies, a library burns to the ground”. So of course I have ‘taped’ every little word and sigh of my grandfather’s parchment-like, ultra fragile and soft voice. And the videos and binaural audio tapes that I have gathered are amongst the most ‘precious treasures’ of my personal AFRICA ON TAPE archive – so I hope the recordings can serve one day as a source for oral history of the Virunga Mountains. And yes, time is against me, but I’ll do everything I can to get another chance to visit my grandfather some time soon to listen ‘nd tape more stories from the past.
Bondy and Nickita, I feel very blessed that you were accompanying me on those very special excursions to Mt. Karisimbi. Thank you also to my precious family in Rwanda for the amazing time we shared together. And to my friends that encouraged me, despite all my doubts and fears to take the flight back home, back to my ancestral territory: BIG THANK YOU !
A Continous Present (2016) by Semay Wu (UK)
performers: Manuela Lucia Tessi, Aurélie Lierman, Semay Wu
video, instrument building, scenography, concept: Semay Wu
special thanks to STEIM (Amsterdam, NL)
premiered 27.06.2016 AS-zaal, The Hague – NL
very happy to collaborate with Marianna Soroka on a new piece for voice, percussion and electronics. a first try out will be on april 10th in Quartair, The Hague (NL) as part of No Patent Pending Concert Series by iii initiative
The past week has felt like a personal big bang… and now my musical world is slowly but surely expanding beyond my own imagination. Last weekend Renan Zeladan Cisneros send me his newest song cycle: a very touching triptych with texts by Gerard Reve, Pedro Lemebel and Yukio Mishima. I do the solo vocal part. Grateful that I’ll be accompanied by Ivan Pavlov on grand piano.
Locked myself twice into a recording studio for vocal recordings in preparation for fascinating new compositions. One by Andrius Arutiunian‘s for tape and ensemble. The other one by Nikos Kokolakis for voice, tape and percussion based on texts by Borges. Very curious to get to hear these !
Meanwhile I also had my first rehearsals for The Cruel Mother based on an anglo saxo horror folksong, re written by Sasha Thiele. My partner in crime in this is Salomé Gasselin (FR): getting goose bumps with each strike on her viola da gamba.
On top of that I yesterday also received a new vocal duet by Quang Ngo Hong. It’s inspired by Vietnamese traditional music with a certain jodel technique, fully written in Hmong, a Vietnamese minority language. Quang and me will sing it together and he’ll teach it to me in person: word by word, note by note, sound by sound.
I have commissioned an even larger number of composers to write new vocal pieces, so I am expecting more of these ‘big bang‘ weeks. Premieres of all these vocal pieces will be scheduled from April on and beyond.
Thrilled to announce that I was awarded the Lucas Musicians & Composers Fellowship at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California. So I’m going back to my beloved West Coast in the near future. I feel tremendously honored to have been selected amongst a huge selection of composers and performers from around the world.
The november 2015 edition of Gonzo (circus) magazine will feature an article about my work. Anyone who purchases the magazine will get a free Mind The Gap cd featuring a fine selection of the newest experimental music.
This Mind The Gap edition includes also my composition “Where Are You ?” for prepared piano, temple gongs, slit drums and analogue electronic sounds. The tape part of “Where Are You ?” is based on field recordings from my trip to Rwanda in 2011. I manipulated them via a reel to reel tape recorder and a Walkman cassette player. The instrumental score is a musical translation and interpretation of a text about the Rwandan Genocide from April 1994.
Special thanks to Benjamin Van Vliet
Just back home from touring the USA , but already moving on to a new exhibition project in Dar Es Salaam, which will feature new photography and video work by Nicholas Calvin, Tanzanian visual artist. I will reinterpret Nicholas Calvin’s visuals and create several new sound installations from it. To premiere my very first sound installations in Tanzania means a lot to me: all the inspiration I got from several travels in East Africa over more than a decade, now will finally find its way back to East Africa
click on the picture above to see more of Nicholas Calvin’s collection
• EXPO INFO:
Nicholas Calvin (TZ) & Aurélie Lierman (BE/RW)
new video and sound installations + photo exhibition
daily 15.09.2015 – 30.09.2015
Alliance Française Dar Es Salaam
Dar Es Salaam (TZ)
curator Anoek De Smet
My tour along the West Coast of the US is completed. Had live improv and new music gigs at Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco & Oakland – where I had the chance to discover the wonderful communities of experimental artists – what a great and productive crowd. Special thanks to Motoko Honda, Carmina Escobar, Theresa Wong, Aram Shelton, Mark Clifford, Lorin Benedict, Bob Marsh for the inspiring and heartwarming artistic collaborations on and off stage. Well, I am in love with the West Coast, so plans are made to come back asap and make more music, much more !
photo © Peter Kaars
if you click on the photo above, you’ll get to see more pics of my USA tour
THANK YOU Alex Ross for picking up my first USA tour on your blog The Rest Is Noise and for all your support towards other independent new music artists.
Invited by Thomas Baumgartner from L’Atelier du son for a chat about my work as a radio artist. Focussing on Anosmia, a reflection on the Rwandan Genocide, and Sampling the Man of Memory, a sound installation created for the current expo Patterns for (Re)cognition at Kunsthalle Basel (CH)
L’Atelier du son
23h00 – 00h00 CET
France Culture – Paris (FR)