In the corner of this roof terrace stands the Klankentoren - the Tower of Sound - an installation created by Aernoudt Jacobs. Not only does it allow you to listen to all the bells of the city, it also - and above all - allows you to create and manipulate your own sound sculptures. The interactive Klankentoren contains 150 bell sounds, taken from the bells of the Belfry and the other Bruges towers. These were recorded and inventoried by the Bruges Cultural Heritage Unit.
You operate the Klankentoren via its built-in touch screen. This has a keyboard and an overview of all the available sounds. It also allows you to adjust the volume, pitch and amplitude of the samples and even the speed of the rotating elements.
The 21 carillon bells you see here on the roof terrace used to hang in the Bruges Belfry. They were cast in 1969, in bronze, by the bell foundry Horacantus-Eijsbouts (Lokeren, BE / Asten, NL) to replace carillon bells cast by Marcel Michiels (in 1939) and Joris Dumery (between 1742-1748). In 2010 these 21 bells – the smallest bells of the Belfry carillon – were replaced with new ones that fit in perfectly with the carillon’s 18th century Dumery bells. Their weight varies from 13.5 to 59 kg. And their pitches range from soh to doh. In total the Bruges Belfry carillon has 47 bells, weighing a total of 28 tons.
The 21 bells – almost two chromatic scales – are hanging in two groups: one horizontal, pitched from low to high; and one in a spiral-shaped scale, with the lowest notes at the bottom. Play the bells by striking them with the various objects, mallets or jazz brushes. Draw inspiration from the view, the echoes of the bells and the echoes of the city. Go for a spectacular solo performance, or get together with others and create a new group composition.
Here in the Sound Factory staircase we find Refrakt, the audiovisual installation created by Esther Venrooy (sound artist) and Olivier Goethals (architect).
During their first visit to the Lantern Tower, the staircase seemed to them to be merely a typical sequence of levels. But later, during a second investigation of the space, Venrooy and Goethals observed the spatial contrasts and auditory qualities: the incidence of light, the effect of shadow, solidity, resonance and radical differences in height.
Using the ‘point-line-plane’ method, Refrakt takes the function of the staircase and reconstructs it auditorily. Loudspeakers are placed in certain carefully chosen places and connected to each other by lines. The designers selected existing planes and used reflection and projection to create a new auditory and architectural interpretation of the space.
Use the music software on the Sound Factory iMacs Create to create soundscapes. This software is all you need to start experimenting and composing, either alone or with a friend. Novice or sound technician, after five minutes everyone will have mastered it.
This colourful sound installation is the brainchild of Patrice Moullet. The OMNI looks like a brightly coloured mushroom, with 108 enamel plates that each respond to your touch differently and each have their own unique sound. The installation holds an enormous database of sounds. Percussion, brass instruments, synthesisers, spacey electronic sounds and analogue bits and bleeps: a vast sound spectrum awaits your instructions. Look for patterns or combinations and create your own compositions. Thanks to the wide selection of sounds the ensemble options are endless.
The OMNI had a somewhat difficult birth. It took 23 years of intense research and several prototypes and tests before its design was finally perfected. The resulting sound installation is a seamless fusion of creativity, technology, functionality and design. Its 108 enamel plates are actually a specialised interface that controls samplers, synthesisers, hardware and software.
There is electricity in the air! Erwin Stache’s six, seemingly banal metal tubes will set your fingertips tingling with musical delight. In Kilo Ohm sound and movement go hand in hand. Literally. Its tubes respond to the electrical resistance of the human skin; the slightest touch produces a specific sound. Because this resistance is highly individual and differs from person to person, the result is also always different.
Experiment with gentle, nimble-fingered taps, a sudden firm grip or a big full-on squeeze. You will immediately hear the difference. Play with a few friends and hear what happens when you also touch each other. Whether you use Kilo Ohm as a piano, a drum kit or a mix of hypnotic sounds, you control the tubes and you explore their enormous sound potential.
A workshop consists of two parts: an audio tour of the Concertgebouw and a hands-on session in the Sound Factory. Both are tailored to the participants’ age group. A full workshop (audio tour + hands-on session) lasts a good two hours. Before the visit teachers will receive a teaching package containing info about the development, function and architecture of the Concertgebouw. This material is best reviewed before the visit. The package also contains entertaining sound-based activities for post-visit work in the classroom.
The tour starts in the Chamber Music Hall, where the group are given an idea of the importance of acoustics and of the function and operation of the Concertgebouw. A rhythmic exercise – an introduction to composition - provides the basis for the hands-on sessions that follow. In the Foyer Parterre, participants then perform a number of experiments: to explore the vibration and propagation of sound and the effect of height difference, for instance. Attention will also be focussed on differences in sound perception.
The tour then proceeds to the Concert Hall. Here the guide gives the group some interesting facts about this impressive space. The group then explore its acoustics and listening experience. Via the glass lift, they then move to the Parterre Balcony. At the large panoramic window, the guide introduces the concept of sound fields and explains the various sound zones of a city - an ideal preamble to a talk about how sound artists past and present have worked and are working with sound. Xenakis’ CONCRET PH and Edgard Varèse’s Poème Electronique provide the perfect soundtrack to this. These two short works from the early days of sound art plunge participants into the world of samples and concrete sounds. They also provide a perfect auditory and visual link between sound and architecture. To close their experience-tour the group then go up to the roof terrace. The contrast between the inside sounds they have experienced intensely during the past hour and the outside sounds they now hear from the roof terrace could not be greater.
There are three elements to these hands-on sessions: the CyberCorner, the Kilo Ohm and the OMNI. So that everyone can experience each element in full, the group is split into three subgroups: One subgroup goes to the Cybercorner and works with the music programme GarageBand. The other two subgroups focus on the Kilo Ohm and the OMNI. After a while the subgroups switch, so that each subgroup gets to experience everything.
In pairs or individually, the participants work on a soundscape. They are led in this by the music programme GarageBand. If necessary, the workshop leader will help children to select sounds, to listen or to click on something. Older children work as independently as possible. With them, the workshop leader only plays a supportive role. The children can experiment with sound clips, sound filters, echoes and the adding of patterns and rhythms with a keyboard.
Here participants can experiment to their hearts´ content. What do you hear when you touch? How does the sound change? What does it sound like when you hold on to somebody, or on to the whole group? They then explore patterns, rhythm, length and intensity. If there is any time left, they will develop a joint sound composition.
With the OMNI participants first experiment and then compose. They start with a repetitive pattern, to which they then add new layers, patterns or accents. There are countless possibilities. Various audio data bases create distinctly different atmospheres: vocals, world music, jazz, synthesisers ... Perfect for an auditory trip.
Bruggemuseum – Lantaarntoren, Concertgebouw Brugge ’t Zand 34, 8000 Brugge
Open: every day from 9.30AM to 5PM.
Closed on Monday
Admission: € 6 / € 5 (discount) / -26 years: € 1 / -6 years: free
Free for citizens of Bruges, for school groups from primary and secondary schools and their supervisors
(1 per 15 pupils), and for students at a Bruges college of higher or adult education.
Children and adolescents, -26 years: € 65 per group (maximum 25)
Only on Monday: 9.30AM – 11.35AM and 1.30PM – 3.30PM
Adolescents: € 150 per group (maximum 15)
possible as from January 2013
Info and registration via firstname.lastname@example.org or +32 70 22 33 02 (Mon-Fri, from 4PM to 6.30PM)
Officiële opening op zondag 09.10.2011, van 10.30 ? 18.00 uur.