Whispers

Blue lightening discs seem to hang freely in a darkened space. They’re the horns of five more than man-sized ceramic trumpets, arranged in various directions. The white inside is radiated with blacklight, as it turns out when your eyes have adapted to the darkness. The horns transmit words, fragments of sentences, laughter, alternated with noise and a strange crackles and sputters. Each trumpet has it’s own repertory of expressions, of which the meaning is hard to probe. And each has it’s own characteristic sound, due to their difference in length.


The speaking trumpets are not alone in space, their voices overlap, in their echo they receive resistance from their environment. Carefully composed continuously changing sounds from speakers surrounding them, absorb the voices like a riverbed. Sometimes distinctly musically, sometimes as a distorted reflection of the voices. While the voices drag on steadily and impassively, the surrounding sounds turn into a flood, rushing towards a sudden climax. In one wave it erases the blackboard, to make way for the talking, murmuring and sputtering to start all over again.


Walking around in this installation by composers Rob van Rijswijk and Jeroen Strijbos and artist Pierluigi Pompei evokes an ambiguous feeling. It encloses you completely, as if diving in a sound pool with streams that pull your hearing into different directions. On the other hand, you remain an outsider in the events surrounding you. It’s a world in which you’re familiar with most of the components, still you’re never able to merge in completely. It’s a world that embraces and excludes you at the same time. This world grows a desire that can never be fulfilled, and which will thus only get stronger.

Whispers is a co-production with festival November Music NL