From 15 October to 21 October 2018, Nicolás Jaar (b. New York, 1990) will be working on a new composition in the Oude Kerk. During this artist residency, Jaar will study the spatial qualities and acoustics of the centuries-old monument with focus on the two organs. The residency builds up to a new site-specific composition that will be performed for the first time during the Playing the Cathedral event on 11 May 2019. Artists’ collective Children of the Light, a collaboration between Christopher Gabriel (b. Oslo, 1980) and Arnout Hulskamp (b. Amsterdam, 1978), will realize an immersive spatial installation in the Oude Kerk that, developed in close collaboration, will form a dialogue with Jaar’s soundscape.
Nicolás Jaar will spend a week in the Oude Kerk to work on a new, site-specific composition. As artist in residence, Jaar will study the spatial qualities and acoustics of the centuries-old monument with a focus on the two main organs. The new composition for organ and electronics, that results from this study, will be performed for the first time at the Playing the Cathedralbeneficial event on 11 May 2019. Jaar’s research will be conducted before and after the Oude Kerk’s opening hours and therefore will not be open to the public.
a new era for music
Nicolás Jaar’s residency marks a new beginning for the future of music at the Oude Kerk. In 2019, the Oude Kerk will introduce a new series of concerts called Playing the Cathedral. The Oude Kerk will welcome (inter)national composers and/or musicians as artists in residence to give them the opportunity to develop new, site-specific work. The Oude Kerk will invest in long-term collaborations through slow-curating of international talents and top-class local performing musicians. Next to the current concert series ‘Silence’ (every first Friday morning of the month) and occasional concerts of classics such as Bach and Sweelinck, Playing The Cathedral offers a combination of sound experiments and spatial acoustic experiences. Central focus in the new music tradition in the Oude Kerk is the use of the space of the church itself; the way in which sound and music are attuned to this space. The concerts are site-specific and not reproducible; visceral, physical experiences that provide a counter current in a time in which impressions are generally shared rapidly. The new site-specific compositions will constitute a new musical collection at the Oude Kerk. The work created by Nicolás Jaar will be performed for the first time at the Playing the Cathedral benefit gala on May 11, 2019.
In line with using the space of the church itself, Children of the Light’s installation will also focus on the organ. They will deconstruct the organ’s complex arrangement of pipes and make visible with light what is not visible or comprehensible without. The instrument that is usually only seen from a distance, hidden behind a façade, will surround the audience in abstracted form, providing an immersive experience and reacting to Jaar’s site-specific soundscape. Consequently, installation, soundscape and space will come together as one.
exclusive benefiet gala
An exclusive benefit gala, titled Playing The Cathedral, on Saturday 11 May will lay the financial foundation for the new concert series and the next phase in music of Oude Kerk. The benefit evening aims to raise money for annual residencies of a musician or composer who will work on a new piece of music tailored to the acoustics of the Oude Kerk and for a future of site-specific concerts. The new composition by Jaar will première that evening and thereby launch the new series. You can participate by booking a table at www.playingthecathedral.org.
Nicolás Jaar is a Chilean artist born in 1990 in New York. Notable works include debut Space Is Only Noise (2011), Pomegranates (2015) and Sirens (2016). Jaar has been focusing on the investigative side of music and sound ever since the release of his first album. He gave a five-hour improvisation concert in PS1, New York and released a large number of experimental recordings through his label Other People. In 2015, Jaar wrote the musical accompaniment for director Jacques Audiard’s film Dheepan, winner of the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or in 2015. Jaar was also a member of the band Darkside.
children of the Light
Amsterdam-based artist collective Children of the Light is a collaboration between Arnout Hulskamp (b. Amsterdam, 1978) and Christopher Gabriel (b. Oslo, 1980), who met at the now defunct progressive night club Trouw, before receiving long-term residency at its predecessor De School. In their artistic practice, they are exploring light in all its qualities and facets. Their installation work has been on show at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Art Basel Miami and TodaysArt Tokyo. They are frequent collaborators with Nicolas Jaar and created the light sculptor “Mirror Moon” for Darkside.