This was Klankenbos Spring Expo


From Saturday 29 May to 6 June 2021, Het Klankenbos was the backdrop for Klankenbos Spring Expo, a nine-day exhibition of five sound art works by artists Amber Meulenijzer, Nika Schmitt, Elsa M'Bala, Anne van de Star and Mo Laudi. For the first time in ages, we were able to combine this with a festive opening event with international guests in open air for a small audience. And it sure felt good!

What happened before: Curating Lab

On Tuesday 25 May, five days before the expo, international artists Elsa M'Bala, Mo Laudi, Megan-Leigh Heilig and curator Christine Eyene descended on Provincial Domain Dommelhof. Together with six local voices, they developed two sound artworks for Klankenbos Spring Expo during workshop week Curating Lab. Besides the development of these co-productions, Christine Eyene also worked with the participants on the organisation of the expo opening, with the aim of teaching them curatorial knowledge and skills. You can relive exactly what Curating Lab was like on the Instagram page @curating.lab and, starting this autumn, in an artistic documentary about the lab by Megan-Leigh Heilig.

Opening event

The measures taken allowed the exhibition to be opened outdoors to a small audience during an opening event on Saturday 29 May from 2 pm onwards. After a welcoming speech, the audience listened to the sound piece by Elsa M'bala. They then explored the expo route in small, guided bubbles. For the occasion, Megan-Leigh Heilig shared the first snippets of her documentary. The final piece of the afternoon was a live performance by Elsa M'Bala at sound installation Radio Forest, which could also be followed via a YouTube livestream. Tired but satisfied, and with tons of inspiration, the artists and participants of Curating Lab returned home. The exhibition, on the other hand, had only just opened.


Klankenbos Spring Expo: on identity and everyday sounds

Klankenbos Spring Expo touched upon the themes of identity and everyday sounds in various realisations. By making everyday objects interact with their new surroundings, the artists created a new soundscape. Maud Seuntjens (Musica, Impulse Centre for Music) curated the exhibition. 

For SAAB SCULPTURE VI: PLACES UNSEEN Amber Meulenijzer placed a Saab 900 under the Musica offices, where a sound piece from the twelve Toa speakers on the car roof resonated with the surrounding buildings. The analogue sounds of Nika Schmitt's kinetic installation Flux, attached to the bridge over the Dommel, invited an alternative perception of the river's unpredictable flow dynamics. Bling rrring by Anne van de Star was given a place in the sound installation Attention. In the silence of the reed pond, a resounding dialogue developed between two steel rings when they accidentally touched each other. In the middle of the forest you found Mo Laudi's Lumumbo's Groove, a metres high fragile construction made of wood and metal, inspired by African sculpture and the culture of Jamaican sound systems, from which a collage of field recordings and experimental sounds rose to the treetops. Elsa M'Bala created an experimental radio composition, based on the personal sound experiences and migration stories of Curating Lab participants Irandi G.M., Bruna E., Liesbeth L. and Soonie J. The sound piece echoed daily from installation Radio Forest. 

An initiative of Musica, Impulse Centre for Music in collaboration with C-TAKT, Provincial Domain Dommelhof and the Municipality of Pelt, as part of Sounds Now, co-financed by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

Special thanks to the participants and artists: Christine Eyene, Elsa M'Bala, Mo Laudi, Megan-Leigh Heilig, Amber Meulenijzer, Nika Schmitt, Anne van de Star, Irandi Garcia Mora, Bruna Esperi, Liesbeth Lemmens, Jeon Soonie, Geka Kabika Baleng and Isabella Arboleda.