John Grzinich - Aeolian harps

Fri 23 Oct 2020 - 09:00 to Sun 25 Oct 2020 - 17:00
Provinciaal Domein Dommelhof, Toekomstlaan 5, 3910 Pelt

Based on the specifics of the location of the festival, John Grzinich builds two aeolian harps in the middle of the Canal Zone, using nothing more than natural or recycled materials. 

Wind harps are analog, environment sensitive instruments that are played by the wind, a force of nature. Being little more than moving air, wind is one of the great shapers of the earth’s surface. Wind can be chaotic or stable, strong or barely perceptible. Normally we do not listen to air, but when wind interacts with plants, objects and materials, it generates sound, most often in the form of soft broadband noise. The aeolian harps give a ‘voice’ to the wind and in effect, help ground us in the location where we hear that voice. So not only can we feel the wind moving around us, we can also hear it. Extended listening to an array of wind harps reveals the character of the wind and defines its relation to a place, as it is affected by all the surrounding elements, trees, buildings, fields, water, etc. 

Documents and stories of the aeolian effect stretch back to the ancient world, which is probably why the name is associated with Aeolus, the Greek god of wind. Examples of purpose built wind harps have been in use since the 1600s, with commercially made harps being made available in the 19th century. Despite the common knowledge and use of aeolian harps throughout the ages, their magic has ceased to draw any less attention. And as simple as they are to build, there is an art to their construction, sound and placement.  

John Grzinich (EST) has worked primarily with sound composition, performance and installation since the early 1990s with a focus on site-specific and acoustic sound activity. His work has resulted in numerous performances and projects made throughout Europe and the US. His compositions have been published on a number of CDs from such labels as SIRR, Staalplaat, Edition Sonoro, CUT, Elevator Bath, etc. Currently he is project and media lab coordinator for MoKS – Center for art and Social Practice, an international artist residency center and project space in Estonia.

This installation is part of the 3-day Expo-route from 23.10-25.10 on various locations in and around Provincial Domain Dommelhof, the Kanal Zone and the Municipality of Pelt.