Sand Songs – playing the elements at the Zandmotor

Sand Songs was a program specifically conceived for the Zandmotor by an international group of interdisciplinary artists and students that were invited to imagine this location in the terms of a musical instrument that is performed by human activity as much as by the natural elements.

With works by: Marije Baalman, Lars Kynde, Tobias Lukassen, Christian Liljedahl, Ana Lemnaru, Grzegorz Marcinak, Maya Verlaak, Adam Basanta, David Pocknee, Tena Lazarevic, Jesse Smits, Kay Churcher, Cecile Gentili, Sophie Rust.

presented in cooperation with ArtScience Interfaculty, Satellietgroep and TodaysArt on June 18th 2016

The Zandmotor is an artificial peninsula with a surface of around 1 km2 located on the coast of South Holland between the towns of Kijkduin and Monster. Based on the concept of “building with nature”, the Zandmotor was created in 2011 as a defense against coastal erosion. This experimental solution uses the natural movement of the tides to replenish the beaches in the surrounding region. Almost as an ephemeral land art intervention, the Zandmotor is expected to disappear within 20 years.

Sand Songs presented several new works originating in iii’s guest residency program: Wind Instrument by Marije Baalman, in which flying a kite is turned into a new way to make electronic music, Pulse Jet Symphony by Lars Kynde, Tobias Lukassen and Christian Liljedahl, in which the technology of jet engines developed for V1 rockets during WWII is employed to compose music articulating the speed of sound on a geographical scale, and Digging Piece, by Adam Basanta, David Pocknee, Maya Verlaak, Ana Lemnaru and Grzegorz Marcinak, inviting the audience to take part in a musical treasure hunt, searching for sounding objects buried in the sand. These works were presented in combination with projects of students originating in the Elements Lab directed by Cocky Eek at the ArtScience Interfaculty.

Sand Songs was realised with financial support from Stroom Den Haag and the Creative Industries Fund NL.

Wind Instrument – Marije Baalman

Kiting is like playing an instrument: subtle hand movements have a great effect on the movement of the kite. Wind Instrument transforms the kite into a musical instrument using sensors, software and wearable technologies. The dialogue between the kiter and the wind becomes a musical composition.

Pulse Jet Symphony – Lars Kynde, Tobias Lukassen, Christian Liljedahl

Pulse Jet Symphony is a composition that unfolds on the scale of a landscape. The work employs instruments based on the pulse-jet technology first developed by the Germans to send rockets against England. Due to their loud sound, the pulse-jets can be heard over large distances. Several pulse-jet motors will be arranged around the Sand Engine creating rhythmical and spatial sound patterns that will change depending on the position of the listener. The musical score will consist of a mapped route through the sonic landscape.

Digging Piece – Ana Lemnaru, Grzegorz Marcinak, Maya Verlaak, Adam Basanta, David Pocknee

A performative installation involving natural and electronic sounds merged with participative aspects of labour. In Digging Piece the public takes part in a treasure hunt, uncovering sounding objects buried in the sand.

Amondawa – Tena Lazarevic

Amondawa is a site-specific sound installation, inspired by the dynamic interplay of various forces that form the location of Zandmotor. Unlike the stiff urban architectures, made to rationalise and optimise space, it is rather a dynamic, manmade landscape, that aims to work as an open framework, whose language, as well as identity is fluid and disperse. The installation is a organised as a collective performative act, where spectators will be invited to float on one of the lagoons at the Zandmotor, freely exploring a series of sound islands/objects, initiated by various energies of natural cycles present at the location. While floating on the lagoon, the visual framework is shifted to the sky, and the sounds are rather sensed, than heard. They are occupying the attention, requiring an alert presence, refrained from analytical thought. A deep stillness placed in the present moment opens infinite possibilities.

The Elements Lab

During the academic year 2015/2016, students of the ArtScience Interfaculty worked at the Zandmotor under the supervision of Cocky Eek. Lab participants Kay Churcher, Cecile Gentili and Sophie Rust presented the outcome of their research during Sand Songs.

Tourne Vent – Kay Churcher

A 30 piece installation of metal sculptures that are turned by the wind. In this field of kinetic works, each piece produces a haunting, abrasive sound as they are put into motion. The interaction between these pieces, each of different heights and dimensions, produces a conversation between the variety of sounds.

Close your eyes – and open your ears – Cécile  Gentili

A sound walk exploring the Zandmotor, creating awareness of our sonic and sensorial environment. Each walk involved a group of participants and guides. The guides lead participants on a blindfolded walk. Then participants then took off the blindfolds and retraced the walk together, exchanging impressions on the experience.

Aurora – Sophie Rust

Aurora is an installation visualizing the motion of the wind.  75 bottles each containing a wind generator powering an LED lamp are spread out over a sand dune, like reverse candles that light up when blowing on them. As the wind rushes over the sand the lights come alive, making perceivable the variations in wind velocity at different points in space.

The evening ended with: Climate Proof, a film by Esther Kokmeijer in collaboration with Satellietgroep , and also featured an unusual cocktail bar Tasting the Zandmotor: Waterpionier by Satellietgroep & De Onkruidenier as well as a very localized pirate radio station  FM Zandmotor Radio with Fauna.

Sand Songs on Radio Tonka
Sand Songs on Den Haag Centraal

Pieter Kers |
Wouter Beugelsdijk