the Fall

Artist Susan Philipsz
Date -

Oude kerk
oudekerksplein 23

For her sound installation in the Oude Kerk she is taking music by the Netherlands’ most famous composer, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, as her starting point. After the Reformation, Sweelinck laid the foundation for public organ recitals taking place in the Oude Kerk. Young organists from all over Europe came to Amsterdam to attend his lessons. Sweelinck was buried in the Oude Kerk 400 years ago and this anniversary is commemorated with a festival. Philipsz seeks to engage with this celebration through her work.

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This autumn, she will be exploring the unique acoustics of the city’s oldest building in a new way: through adaptations of Sweelinck’s music. She will examine the architecture and surrounding space further by allowing her own voice to resound in this monumental setting. Visually, the installation will make the monumental surroundings of the Oude Kerk manifest in a new way. Philipsz: ‘Singing is an almost sculptural experience. It makes you aware of your inner space and of the effect of your own voice when you project its sound into a space. I am particularly interested in the emotional and psychological properties of sound and in the way it can be used as a means of changing individual consciousness.’
For the board room of the Oude Kerk, Philipsz created a special work, Broken Ensemble: a sculpture made from several organ pipes that, through the breath of the artist, appears to breathe life into the space.

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