On December 18th 2010 in Den Bosch during MOL, my good friend Peter Johan Nijland gave a performance with his ultragrotesque project Hadewych at a special location. Also my friend, the great experimentalist Zeno van den Broek gave a performance with his project Machinist.
MOL is a project by Renk van Oyen, based on the concept of three acts of half an hour who perform in the strangest locations.
Hadewych is definitely something special. Hadewych conjures the ultragrotesque. As they put it themselves:
Music in its directness. Music that is true to itself as music. Non-conceptual music. Music that reveals being. Avant-garde music, ritual music, atmospheric aesthetics of old black metal, prepared piano music, 20th century composers (e.g. Cage, Scelsi), some ambient, some shoegaze, some art rock, some ultra.
Peter had asked me to help him create visual art for this Hadewych performance. He was looking to bring the forest into the venue and use abstract images of body positions to accentuate the music. So we headed out to the forest to shoot the footage, one of my favorite places to be. And since I hadn’t spent any time in a forest for a while now, I’m was very much looking forward to working there with Peter.
Zeno opted for darkness and posed quite a challenge for me filming it. Yet he managed to mesmerize me with his elaborate soundscapes, he conjured up a city in sound and his moniker “Machinist” is well deserved. It was quite entrancing and the video shows it! As always both performances were haunting and beautiful!
I was there to film, hoping to create a document of the evening, but unfortunately not everything went as planned. Because of the very minimal amount of time I had to prepare and change positions during the change-over from one act to the next, I had barely time to set audiolevels and make sure everything was ready to go. The audio was not the best I’ve recorded. Also, someone accidentally (?) switched off one of the camera’s during Hadewych’s performance, so I unfortunately only had the handheld images.
Here are screencaps from both performances:
I was lucky enough that Machinist had his own recording device with him, with which he captured the audio for his performance, so I was able to mix that in with the ambient recording. Hadewych however was not so lucky, so I only had the low-quality on cam mic recording. However, this led to the decision to butcher the material and come up with a raw look and sound for the Hadewych videos that actually works quite well in my opinion!
Hadewych – Gentle Art Of Incineration / A Forest For Eoh
Music and lyrics copyright Hadewych
Here’s Zeno’s performance: