Music of Silence
MUSIC OF SILENCE Concerts are improvised concerts where Silence not only takes place but in addition where Silence itself is composing a language of sound.
How does the present moment sound in our hearts when a tangible SILENCE is the starting point; and what kind of singing arises out of tones due to the extension of the presence of SILENCE?
For many years, working with music and vocal performance for me as a singer has been first of all a dialogue with SILENCE – and dealing with collages, interweaving texts and contexts with each other; listening, perceiving and vocalizing the inaudible movements and thoughts traveling between different moments of time. The contents of many of my performances have dealt with contemporary or historical events.
In MUSIC OF SILENCE Concerts I lend my voice to the occurance of Silence in a very pure and concentrated manner. These concerts can be a platform or carrier for encounters with structuring, regulating, healing and intertwining facets of Silence. It is this sound and the language of music that enables a synchronization with Silence.
“Applied Silence“ is a term used to describe a performance art which deals with creating both spaces and contexts allowing SILENCE to be experienced.
Originating in the term of Applied Art, the creative term of “Applied Silence“ also encompasses many forms of everyday situations and designs of environments.
A performance of “Applied Silence“ is not merely about techniques and statements but rather embraces the freedom to leave out techniques and methods of interpretation.
By putting SILENCE to the core of the artistic form, the direction is at the same time also changed from performing to listening and therefore performance serves as a membrane.
“Applied Silence“ can subsequently be viewed as an artistic mode of perception where the necessity of SILENCE in Art can provide an answer to contemporary life.
Space of Silence
Ongoing project research for a room for an open SPACE OF SILENCE:
This is now about looking for a church building or other suitable premises, possibly sacral architectures, in the area of Bonn / Bad Godesberg / Königswinter / Bad Honnef / Siebengebirge and Westerwald, situated closely to the Rhine.
In order to design and develop an open space of SILENCE, I am currently looking for a suitable building. MUSIC OF SILENCE Concerts which serve to promote awareness of Silence at a regular base, and which can be attended free of charge, possibly with an associated additional room for dialogue, will provide the required impetus or framework.
Within these concerts, SILENCE is the decisive element without having to be emphazised and turned into a concept, and without requiring an explanation or being spiritually absorbed. It is the intention of the project SPACE OF SILENCE to guide all relevant sounds of an encounter or our existence through the presence of SILENCE to being touched, cleansed, healed and transformed for the better, and to create a space for it.
For this specific way of discovering SILENCE that one can relate to, we need to find the suitable location as a Centre or SPACE OF SILENCE. Also in cooperation with the project “Erprobungsräume“ (Space for Testing) carried out by EKiR (Protestant Church Rhineland), we are currently looking for a church room or alternative location in the area of Bonn and surroundings, e.g. for conducting Music of Silence Concerts.
We would be very happy to hear from you regarding any comments, ideas, contacts, discussions and suitable locations.
Sponsored by an Artist grant from the Ministry of Culture and Science as part of the NRW Corona Assistance
VOICE.SILENCE is the title of the didactic event formats I organize with regard to the subject of perception of SILENCE as it shapes and provides an environment for working with sound, form and presence.
Under the title VOICE.SILENCE working sessions with music groups (e.g. from March to December 2006 at Christuskirche, Cologne, and finally from 2016 until 2017 as part of the Academy of the Art of Sermon at the Protestant Faculty of Theology, Bonn) as well as courses, training of lectors and workshops for vocal training of the Listening Voice have taken place.
The inclusion of our perception of SILENCE as well as the vocal improvisation both provide momentum to this work. In this context, vocal training allows us to act as an instrument.
What makes you pause and contemplate?
In summer 2018 a SILENCE Presence Performance tour was conducted in 14 European cities addressing the question “WHAT makes you pause and contemplate?“.
Originally, the project SILENCE Presence Performance was initiated by an interest in current issues, and by a reflectiveness about how easy or difficult it is to reach us, and whether my concerns about the current state of affairs are shared. This developed into a many-voiced response expressing and addressing solidarity, helplessness, consolation, happiness and beauty. In a silent documentary film portraying the variety of answers, this response has been shared and simultaneously accompanied with a live concert several times.
This film concert is dedicated to the art of encounter, and to silent ways of an unobtrusive exchange between people:
WHAT MAKES YOU PAUSE AND CONTEMPLATE? – a universal question – was posed in form of a sculpture and in silence in public urban spaces by slowly playing the violin on a rose. The question was answered on more than 40 meters of paper; written in almost 20 languages by people of many different nationalities and backgrounds.
This 77 minute long silent film was created as a moving portrait documenting people´s reactions and various answers to the question WHAT MAKES YOU PAUSE AND CONTEMPLATE? in today´s world. The SILENCE which enables everything as well as the valuable non verbal encounters that cannot be documented in the film, are translated into the live concerts.
During the lockdown earlier this year, an additional “Applied Silence Performance“ was created: GOLDEN STONES in the Siebengebirge.
During long hikes GOLDEN STONES were placed in the countryside, each representing thoughts of possibilities and calls for a change of time, and especially mutual gestures of solidarity and encouragement: GOLDEN STONES, dedicated to the possible stories of encounter which will probably remain unnoticed and undiscovered.
Up to now, 31 out of 43 stones have been found and taken; 12 stones are still in the Siebengebirge, possibly found but not taken.
GOLDEN STONES can be viewed as a homage to the power and beauty of nature and silence, and as an image for pause with the not inexhaustible creation.
Looking forward to hearing from you about your resonances,
Rena Meyer Wiel