Live Performance Synthesizer Setup, Sculpture Festival 2021, Kolbe Museum Berlin.
“les ephemeres” is a duo composed of Katharina Bévand and Stéphane Lefrancois. They perform on a modular setup, extended by diverse and intriguing sound sources. They are fascinated with the evanescent and visceral symbiosis between movement, touch, space, and sound. Katharina’s thriving and bewitching soundscapes, together with Stéphane’s abstract and organic rhythms, conjure haunting and bizarre fleeting sonic spells, magnified by hypnotic, synergistic visuals.
Kunst am Bau – 90 Jahre Haus Des Rundfunks, Haus des RBB, Berlin 2021
4 channels, WAV Player, 16 min Loop.
Electromagnetic sounds known to cause interference sounds in radio and the clatter of tape machines form a composition that plays on the entire 5-storey stairwell. The architectural spiral is mirrored in the loop of the composition and the tape machine technology. The sounds penetrate the building through the vertically positioned loudspeakers from different floors.
Schausammlung Open Call, LTK4, Cologne 2020
5 Kanäle, WAV Player, 8 min Loop.
Corroding loop(s) is a site-specific sound installation in the Lutherturm in Cologne. This composition is made for the church bells of the Lutherkirche where the bell tower is located. Recordings of the church organ and the church bells are processed, stretched over time, and played via loudspeakers installed inside the bell tower. The sound continuum is composed around and mixes with the bells that ring twice a day at 12pm and 7pm.
The church bells were urban public clocks structuring everyday and ritual life, the rhythm of Western culture, in a specific cartographic and acoustic range. The act of walking and hearing , the body is directly addressed and connected to the ringing of the bell, while now with digital clocks on our cellphones or visual signs on wristwatches, the relation between body, time and urban space is different, detached from a physical space. Time is teared apart from space onto our skin, into virtual worlds, into machinery. From sonic signs we shifted to visual signs representing time. Social and ritual life formerly were structured into one general rhythm for all people, now we encounter various layers of lifestyles and rhythms all merging and overlapping together in one space.
The church is a stage for the theatrical, the ritual, ceremonies and remembrance. Time structures like calendars are systems, thus creating a narrative and a fiction for a society which changes in different areas of the world and cultures. Bell ringing formerly also served as a signal for other occasions, like a warning sign for example. What happens if the church bells never fall silent? For what purpose is a human community being called together here? What happens if an everyday background sound, to which we got used to, is heard in a transformed way? When digital and acoustic signals overlap, the memory of a bell and its actual sound?
The installation is located on the 4th floor of the bell tower, just directly under the belfry, from which a whole is opened into the room and one of the bells is lit visible to the audience. The audience in order to experience the installation needs to physically move inside the bell tower room, because from outside it is not heard. The visit becomes a ritualistic pilgrimage into a space where time is restructured sonically by presenting the bell sound in a different way. The mechanical attack sound of the motors that play the bells is amplified and starts like a beat which dissolves into sound textures. Our contemporary society is accelerating rapidly. Physical spaces dissolve into the virtual, one no longer lingers in the physical but relocates into the digital. The ritual disappears in our society, space and time perception change. In the constant stream of sound, the corrosion of time, bodies and spaces may become physically tangible.
Air Berlin, Intermission Collective, Villa Heike, Berlin 2020
3 channels, 5 min loop.
Ecken, meaning corners, highlight the ceiling texture of the entrance area of Villa Heike in front of the main exhibition hall. The ceilings texture remind me to a folded origami paper, likewise, it looks like in a process of folding and unfolding surfaces. Folding surfaces create corners, that hide and show. The 3 Loudspeakers are positioned high on the columns, to direct the visitors attention upwards towards these visual forms – a flood light emphasize these shapes and lines. The sound which originated from rustling recordings of papers, is folded into different sonic spaces, reverberating simultaneously in different rooms at one place and time, folding and unfolding between the actual physical space and the memories of other distant acoustics.
FK:K Festival IV Kesselhaus Bamberg 2020
8 channels, 18 min loop.
A former boiler room is emphasized and acoustically explored in its verticality. For this purpose, sound sources are placed in the two kettles, an adjacent room and in the basement. High frequent sound impulses and low-frequency drones stimulate the resonances of the cavities. The acoustics of the boiler and the cellar shape the aesthetics of the sound and create spatial sonic impulses for the visitors. The echoing room becomes a sonic filter. The clean and cold lightning with neon tubes highlights the architectural shapes of the room, specially the V-shapes of the 2 boilers, and the visual textures of the walls. The architectonic body is exposed to the audience.
Last 3 Photographs copyright by Maria Svidryk
Floating Presence at Berlin Art Summer IV, Humboldt Carré 2020
8 channels, changing interactive sound loops.
ROOMINATION III is an interactive sound and light installation by Katharina Bévand & Shahed Naji, which reacts to the presence and movement of visitors in the room with the help of sensors and an interactive system specially developed for the installation. ROOMINATION invites visitors to physically deal with their surroundings. What reactions do our actions produce? How does a changing environment affect us? Where is the separation or fusion between us as body and the surrounding world?
Technical support and programming: FluxGeist
Listen to Cairo, DARB1718 Cultural Center, Cairo, Egypt 2020
3 sound channels, inside a former pottery kiln, 24 min loop.
Field recordings of different places all over Cairo – as a bustling, hectic, and mostly loud city, transform here into a meditative sonic space. The transformation of and into opposites, this fluctuation of states and emotions, is a special concern in this piece. As life and death are both ends of the same string, everything hosts dualities. We often have the decision and responsibility to choose between these dualities in tension and often we do not realize this opportunity to shape our reality consciously. In many traditions our body is made of elements, including Earth – when we die, we fall to dust again. The organic cavities of the kiln remind organic forms, like the womb that gives birth and the grave that accomodates us. Atmospheric field recordings as well as amplified electromagnetic waves and contact microphone sounds of a bridge were used in this composition.
Infinité, Weisser Elefant Gallery, Berlin 2020
2 sound channels, transducers and object trouvé.
Orbiting Mantra is a slowly evolving sonic composition, which invites the visitor to orbit around hanging resonating plates, or to stand between them taking a sonic bath. Sound exciters transmit vibration onto the metallic surfaces, enhancing the metallic character of the sound. The composition is made of various sonic parts that inter fade slowly. On the turkish tea trays of special resonant qualities, infinite spirals are drawn, appearing and disappearing with the changing light angle while one moves around. These objet trouvés are liberated from their original serving function becoming own entities. Like the visuals, the sound spins endlessly, and the visitor mirrors with his circular movement the repetition of a spatial infinity. The atmospheric composition expands into the room. The exhibition “Infinité” was held in honor to the great female Pioneer of Electronic Music Eliane Radigue, for her 88th birthday in January 2020.