News - February 28, 2011

Windy journey through strange sounds

Joris Tielens

Bellows, organ pipes, squeaky lungs and heavenly choruses are among the sounds resounding through the church at the latest show by artists' collective the Waterlanders.

It's called Tocht, which means both journey and draught and it takes the audience on a journey through the sounds made by movements of air. As usual at Waterlanders events, the audience cannot just lean back and let it all wash over them. They are part and parcel of the show. On the way in the unsuspecting visitor walks over a path made of bellows, creating the first notes of the concert. Taking you right to the heart of the organ.
The Waterlanders are a Wageningen-based artists' collective that include a number of ex-students. They are known especially for their 'location theatre' in which the location is a crucial part of the show. The Waterlanders are a fixture at the Oerol festival on the island of Terschelling. And in Wageningen they have provided a show to mark the transition from the war victims commemoration of 4 May to the peace celebrations of 5 May. And when the Waterlanders went into a church with an organ, something special happened to the church and the organ... and the show Tocht was born.
Tocht is a tribute to the breath: that which breathes life into the human body and is the last thing to leave it. This is a concert of sounds made by the human lungs and by the air in organ pipes. But the breath is also blown through numerous experimental instruments specially designed for this show. Instruments made of metal tubes, plastic hoses, wooden bellows and plastic sheeting... Even the rise and fall of the chest produces sound. Whatever produces vibrations is of interest, says Waterlander Eric Langendoen. Two opera singers, a composer and an organist are working with the Waterlanders on this show.
the show also tells the story of evolution, but it is hidden in the music. It starts with the sound of the primordial slime, the efforts of the lungs when life first crawled around in the earth. And it ends with heavenly singing. Organ and humans swap places: the organ is a living creature and the human being is an instrument that is played.
3 (try-out), 4, 5 en 10, 11, 12 March 2011. Doopsgezinde kerk, Arboretumlaan, Wageningen.
Begins 20.30, tickets: 15 euros. Many bookings have already been take; reserve seats at via