With Joep van Lieshout’s artwork Early Bird as a starting point, Slagwerk Den Haag and the Dutch-American composer Brendan Faegre will create a ‘minimal’ and vibrating performance, which will have its world premiere on September 4th. This concert takes place in AVL Mundo and is part of the sculpture route Let’s Get Physical by Atelier van Lieshout…
Composer Brendan Faegre discovered that the metal parts in the sculpture Early Bird by Joep van Lieshout produce unique sounds.
While walking through Joep van Lieshout’s atelier, looking for musical possibilities in his sculptures, I stumbled upon his Early Bird from 2015. A few taps on the surface and I was enchanted. Each of its 100 flat metal surfaces rings out a clear, unique pitch. It’s like a beautiful, bizarrely-tuned, three-dimensional, 4-meter tall vibraphone.
The percussionists play the role of three gods, descending from the heavens to help guide the four terribly lost Early Birds. Each bird believes itself to be a solitary genius, forging ahead in its own direction while climbing the rusty corporate ladder of late-stage capitalism. The birds are unaware of the fact that we are all welded together.
As the piece unfolds, the gods grow weary, finding the Early Birds completely unreceptive to their advice. The gods eventually resign and then die, as the humans kill their own gods by killing themselves (the death of the dreamer kills the dreamed).
Brendan Faegre has been praised by the New York Times as ‘especially empowering’ and ‘darkly exhilarating’. Composer and drummer Brendan Faegre creates music that brings together the various traditions that formed him. From his ‘education’ as a rock drummer comes a fascination for the beauty of distortion, imperfection, and improvisation. His months in India as a tabla student led to music that combines a strict intellectual approach with physical expressiveness. And his study of spectromorphology grew into an obsession with the human experience of sound.