Hendrik Willekens is an artist working in the field of performance, of Belgian nationality and based in the city of Malmö, Sweden.  He is a trained actor and mime. During his education, Hendrik developed an interest for the function of music within performance, and for the last decade he has been working with exactly this. His works as a musical author and as an artistic collaborator have been shown throughout Europe, most notably in Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid), Pact Zollverein (Essen), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Short Theatre Festival (Rome), Palazzo Grassi (Venice), among others. His interest in music in performance lies in the possibility it opens to introduce a layer of abstraction into spaces of theatrical expectation. For Fieldstation, Willekens collaborates artistically with the group S L A M to create a soundscape of the environment and the material that communicates multiple dimensions of clay.

When Clay Breathes Out 2022

Installation, sound composition, digitals ound file (approximately 8 hours)Work in process

For this piece I engage myself in a dialogue with (recordings of) claybreathing out. This exhalation happens when solid clay is given to water anddisintegrates or returns to a more fluidstate. Air that was trapped in solid clayis liberated and rises to the surface ofthe water. In its escape the air whistles, it explodes, it makes squeezy sounds anddeep thuds as pieces of dry clay breakoff of the main chunks. The palette hasabundant acoustic associations; I leaveit to the listeners to discover these forthemselves.

I was immediately inspired by the non-linear rhythms clay brings forth in thisway. For When Clay Breathes Out, Ihave copied these organic grooves inorder to react to the clay sound withsynthetically generated sound material. Finally, the composition is layered with the acoustic atmosphere of oneparticular room in the old factory of lfö center. This is the so-called High Voltage Room. It’s an out-of-this-world industrial theatre where
clay cylinders were put on show, infront of an audience of industrialists and engineers, to demonstrate their performance capabilities when it comesto conducting electricity. The space islaid out in such a way that the smallestsound has an enormous impact througha very spacious reverb. The compositiondoes an effort to bring part of the post-industrial site to the exhibition space, and thereby lifting a tip of the curtain ofthe generous personality this site bears inside.

Sidenote for the critical listener: keeping in mind the rather overwhelming sonic characteristics of the installation site, large parts of the composition consist of (near) silence.

Photos by Tina Stridfeldt

Films by Filip Tell