Marjolein van der Meer
I AM SEVERAL – Electronic music piece and PERFORMANCE

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During the performance, three dancers stand in an empty Berlin room. Starting with slow movements, they explore the space to a voice and electronic sounds. At first, their bodies are connected by individual movements and than find each other in synchronous movements.

Marjolein van der Meer composed the sounds of digital instruments and layers of her own voice and together with choreographer Merel Franx, she transformed the sounds into a performance, which in turn provided the framework for the sound composition. The starting point for van der Meer’s composition is the Gregorian chants of the Benedictine monks in the monastery of St. Wandrille De Fontanelle in Normandy.

Marjolein van der Meer – „I AM SEVERAL“
Marjolein van der Meer – „I AM SEVERAL“ performance

Also significant for van der Meer were conversations with her sister, a neuropsychologist, about her own inner polyphony, the parallel quest for individuality, and finding ways to exist together. The Artist created the performance to translate the experience of physical and spiritual connection that she found in the Gregorian chants. During the lockdown the performance artist taught herself to compose electronic music. Van der Meer always takes care to consider the body and the physical element in the music. As in the choral singing of the monks, the artist incorporated cyclic sound sequences by using natural sounds and their flow. Her sound composition consists of four parts: The first part deals with inner voices and dialogues, which in this case revolve around the question of doing something well, and pleasing everyone. Next, the second part seeks what connects us all, breathing corresponding with moving physically together in the choreography. The third part focuses on the choral, on something that goes beyond the individual and connects us to each other. Finally, in the concluding fourth part, it’s all about releasing everything – the dancers play a game. With the recognition of togetherness as a basic human need, the cycle can end and a new one can start.

Van der Meer finds inspiration in various performances and music. Choir music is one of the main inspirations for this project. The group performance of Michele Rizzo in het Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 2019 is another inspiration, in which the artist recognizes a similar pattern as exists with choir music. The synchronized movements of the dancers to electronic music develop a trance-like undertow. The tension results from the collective body moving in unison and the individuality of the dancers. L’Encyclopédie de la parole – Suite n 1” also deals with individual whispering, choral speech, and the call and response of a group to an individual.

The metropolis Berlin played an important role in the artist’s reflections of polyphony and individuality. In addition to the urban encounters, van der Meer sees Berlin as a place of creative energy, a place whose sound makes electronic music possible.

Text: Dr. Silke Förschler

About Marjolein van der Meer:

Marjolein van der Meer (The Netherlands, 1986) is a spoken word artist, a singer and musician, performer and director of performance. Loosely combining music, image and text she creates multi-layered songs, concepts and performances, soundscapes and audio pieces that reveal her way of looking at the world. Her work is playful and combines the abstract with daily life, trying to reach beyond the surface through building structures of language and music, using the subconscious, poetry and movement. Together with musician Raymond Deirkauf, Marjolein has an electronic music duo called I, poor romantic. The duo released their first single Cool, oh no Cool in 2017 and an EP based on Grimm fairy tales in 2019. Grimm toured extensively through theaters in The Netherlands and Belgium. Marjolein van der Meer previously created performances for Frascati and de Brakke Grond in Amsterdam. Her audio documentaries were broadcast on the Dutch national radio (Hollanddoc) and online through national newspaper NRC.

For more information: Website I Facebook I Instagram I Soundcloud | Website Choreografin Merel Franx

Fresh A.I.R. #5 Online-Showcase

The Online-Showcase offers an opportunity to get an overview of the highly diverse projects of the fourth class of Fresh A.I.R. artists with their different kinds of media and aesthetics.

On view are video and photographic materials about the individual projects, each of which is accompanied by an explanatory text that aims to offer insights into the work’s aesthetic experience.

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