Norwegian composer Espen Sommer Eide recorded the year preceding the opening of The Waves, and during other exhibitions, a spatial music album for Marres. Together with singer Mari Kvien Brunvoll and tuba player Martin Taxt, he roamed the rooms of the house in search of forgotten voices, partly by making the walls and floors, doors and stairs resonate and partly by making compositions based on what the house produces.
The album, the composer says, was not so much ‘made for the house, but with the house’. The result was a wonderful spatial album that unfolded like a modern symphony, spread out in parts across the rooms. The tracks took visitors through the building, room by room, following the shadows of the nightly performances, the history of the respective areas explained in detail. They heard songs, melodies, and rhythms, with the voices and perspectives of the performers reproduced simultaneously from multiple angles as if the house was a mirrored palace of sound. The music transformed the building into a place where countless worlds are possible – completely free from the view or presence of a particular thing or subject. The source of inspiration, the famous novel The Waves (1931) by the British author Virginia Woolf, was found in the interweaving of different voices and times. Jochem Vanden Ecker was asked to document the entire process.
In recent years Espen Sommer Eide and Valentijn Byvanck, director of Marres, conducted a series of discussions that eventually led to the exhibition The Waves. These conversations have been processed into an interview that has been published in the cahier.
Espen Sommer Eide, Mari Kvien Brunvoll and Martin Taxt gave a guided tour of the exhibition during a Training the Senses session. They explained room by room how the pieces of music were created.
Espen Sommer Eide
Espen Sommer Eide (1972) is a composer and artist based in Bergen, Norway. Using music and sound as both method and medium, his artistic practice involves long term engagement with specific landscapes, archives, languages, and rhythms, with an experimental approach to local and embodied knowledge. In addition to installation and performances, he has been a prominent representative of experimental electronic music from Norway, with main projects Alog and Phonophani, and a string of releases on the labels such as Rune Grammofon, FatCat and Hubro.
Martin Taxt (1981), born in Trondheim, Norway, finished his studies at the Academy of Music in Oslo and CNSMDP in Paris in 2006. Since then he has established himself in the international experimental music scene. He is releasing albums and touring with groups such as Koboku Senjû and Microtub. Since 2013 he has been a part of the awardwinning art collective Verdensteatret.
Mari Kvien Brunvoll (1984), is one of Norway’s leading improvisers in song and various eclectic instruments. A graduate of Grieg Academy in Bergen, Brunvoll has performed solo and in groups at some of Europe’s best jazz clubs and festivals and released twisted albums on labels like Jazzland Recordings and Hubro. Mari Kvien Brunvoll is also part of the trio Building Instrument.
Jochem Vanden Ecker (1976) studied photography at the Media and Design Academy, Genk and has lived in Antwerp for the last few years. Vanden Ecker’s work is process-oriented, with a hybrid documentary method often in dialogue with other artists, architectures, and situations. Vanden Ecker has released a string of artists books such as A skydog’s time. A skydog’s place (2015) and From Brown to Blue (2013).
Vinyl Album The Waves
If you’ve missed the exhibition, you can listen to the vinyl album that Marres released in collaboration with SOFA Music, with tracks that refer to specific rooms in Marres such as: ‘poortkamer’, ‘slaapkamer’ and ‘wintertuin’. The LP is for sale in the online shop. The album The Waves is also available on Spotify.
Fonds 21, the BankGiro Loterij Fonds, the Mondriaan Fund, Arts Council Norway, Norwegian Society of Composers, Bergen Municipality, Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts, SOFA Music.