There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot. – John Cage, Silence (1961)
At 8 o’clock in the morning the Oude Kerk is a meditative oasis in the city, along with an enervating sunrise to be enjoyed through the towering windows. The music programme Silence fills the air at this early hour, a contemplative counterpoint in a hectic city centre.
sound project for three brass players, one singer and two floors fans (1980) by marinus boezem
The third edition of Silence is being held on Friday, 3 March, on this occasion directly relating to the exhibition by Marinus Boezem: A previously unperformed composition by Boezem will receive its premiere in the Oude Kerk, 37 years after its conception. A series of graphics that chart the lung contents of the musicians – at rest and when exerting themselves – serves as the score for this ‘sound project for three brass players, one singer and two floor fans’. The result is a piece of music in which the musicians’ exertion becomes increasingly visible, palpable and audible.
The performing musicians are vocal performer Jaap Blonk, famous for his renderings of the Ursonate (‘primordial sonata’) sound poem by Kurt Schwitters, and the leading Dutch brass players Tjeerd Oostendorp (tuba), Wolter Wierbos (trombone) and Romain Bly (French horn).
music in the oude kerk
The Oude Kerk boasts an impressive musical history and in the 16th century the church was one of the first places in Northern Europe where audiences could enjoy public concerts. While the restoration of the Vater-Müller organ is underway, the Oude Kerk decided to make good use of these quiet times and turn its attention to a new musical programme. Conversations with musicians, artists and programmers resulted in the November 2016 launch of a music programme that ties in with the Oude Kerk’s art programme and the context of a monumental building. The concerts in the Silence series always start at 08:00 and are often held on the morning of the first Friday of the month. The next edition, Silence #4, takes place on the morning of Friday, 2 June.
3 March 2017, 08:00
Oude Kerk, Oudekerksplein (Red Light District), Amsterdam
admission: €10.00 (free for holders of a Museumkaart, ICOM card, I Amsterdam city card or stadspas, and for Friends of the Oude Kerk)
(reserve your tickets online)
image: ernst van deursen