Sonic Elevation 1, inspired by the work “into the air” of Marinus Boezem


End 2016: As part of project “Mooie ten-toon-stellingen” (“beautiful sounding exhibitions”) I was visiting the solo exhibition of the Dutch concept artist / Arte Povera  Marinus Boezem (1934) in the Old Church in Amsterdam.

I knew the work of Marinus Boezem already for a long time as a major source of inspiration: his combining “high art” and “low art” concepts (also literally..), introducing multi sensory and immaterial elements as air(pressure), wind, light, shadow, reflections, transparency, time, radio waves, weather forecast, soundscape, textile work, curtains and needle work with help of local communities, working in different scales from floor plans of old gothic cathedrals, as symbol for the desire of human spirituality and real scale Green Cathedral with growing trees in the Dutch Flevopolders as a landart project, also working with heavy rocks, grains to let grow a floor plan on the flat roof of his studio, as food for thoughts and birds, pigeons…, signing with grow, change and immateriality, signing the sky with his name BOEZEM by a small airplane above the Amsterdam harbours and more conceptual art.. Form follows the concept. Marinus Boezem is still active producing new works.

For the solo exhibition in Old Church (have look) he also made new work: “into the air”. With the guidance of a real elevator man/woman you can step on a construction elevator that brings you 15 meters high into the air towards the rove of the church. From there you can hear and see the church (floor) from a whole new perspective including yourself in the reflection of a round mirror by surprise. 

After doing a (“beautiful sounding exhibitions”) soundwalk making binaural recordings as visitor and artist with special interest in the momentary soundscapes of the whole exhibition in the space, I specially got inspired by the sounds of the construction elevator in the reflective acoustics of the Old Church, the closeness and reverberations, the voices of the elevator guide and others, the experience of a changing vertical hearing perspective when going “into the air” and rising to the top of the church and being a spectator on the floor again.   

I have used these sounds and elevating experience of going “into the air” as inspiration for the composition: “sonic elevation 1”; intertwining soundscapes with synthesizer – and instrumental guitar sounds, rhythmic layers, in vertical and horizontal hearing perspectives within the acoustics of the Old Church.   “wait until you hear from me”    You now can listen here. 


Afterwards I’ve send Marinus Boezem a cd with “sonic elevation 1”.  He was surprised and pleased with soundscape. It remembered him of the work of Luigi Nono an Italian avant-garde composer of experimental classical music who used to incorporate the sounds of the performing spaces (Venice), voices of musicians, gliding electronics, tape music, concrete sounds..  For me it all starts with the soundscape, the ambiance, analysing and adding musical (non)elements to it.

I was happy to meet Marinus several times in person during exhibitions and performance in the Old Church, talking about the concept art and music.  

Here is a portrait I made after his “performance, sound project for: ventilators, 3 wind players and voice” in te Old Church of Amsterdam: 

Marinus Boezem, Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, 2017
Marinus Boezem, Old Church, Amsterdam after the performance: ventilators, 3 wind players and voice, Photo: Ricardo Huisman, 2017