Since the NewCanvas©Poetry&Art, part of the 37 Poetry International Festival, there is a sound-installation, the Soundpiece, under the floor of the Schouwburgplein, Rotterdam. This installation was placed by the artists Jasper Niens, Kamiel Verschuren en Thijs Ewalts.
By order of Rotterdam Festivals, the new owners of the installation, a strategy was made for a sustainable use of this installation. The Soundpiece has the ability to make the Schouwburgplein the urban cultural foyer of Rotterdam. By sound, the rich and divere cultural life of Rotterdam is spread in the public space.
2oo9, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
How did the piecing together of different initiatives gradually give rise to the urban cultural foyer at Schouwburgplein? In an article for the online magazine CITIES The Magazine issue #02: “EMERGING CENTERS”, David Dooghe describes the progress of the project Soundpiece, from initiate idea to the current situation, and reflects on the lessons learned.
Soundpiece, a permanent open sources sound-installation in the public space, has from start been an experimental project. It is a project that has a clear goal: strengthen the Schouwburgplein as the urban cultural foyer of Rotterdam. To achieve this goal however no directions have been outlined. Over the years, an open and flexible approach towards new ideas made the installation on one hand more connected with the life that occurs on the square and on the other hand gave new meanings to the square. On top of this Soundpiece is a project that is strongly dependant on other participants for its success. Due to these 3 reasons, an open, experimental and participative bottom-up approach was necessary.
With its clear goal and an open, experimental and participative process, the projects bottom-up approach has been rewarding. The open, experimental approach has ensured that Soundpiece stays current. The participative approach connected Soundpiece with new cultural stakeholders. During the process Soundpiece gradually strengthens the Schouwburgplein as the urban cultural foyer of Rotterdam.
CITIES The Magazine issue #02: “EMERGING CENTERS” examines how recently urban research and explorations have shifted attention to ‘bottom-up’ initiatives mitigating the impacts of ‘top-down’ approaches to urban development.
If you would be walking on Schouwburgplein on a working day between 16.oo and 19.oo between September 26 and October 7, you could
have the impression that you are dwelling in another part of the city. Exclusively for Soundpiece, sound artist Jorg Schellekens made the project En Plein Publiek. Out of soundrecordings of 4 different Rotterdam Squares, he made 4 soundscapes, each of them takes 20 minutes.
If you can guess 3 of these 4 squares right, then you can win tickets for performances in the De Doelen or Rotterdamse Schouwburg. Send your answer before
October 7th to Soundpiece@rotterdamfestivals.com.
Inspired by the closeness of the sea, which plays an important role for Rotterdam, Ronald Rote made ‘the underwaterserie’, a combination of relaxed, lounge music and voice-overs of underwater documentaries.
Gerben Kokmeijer made a soundscape using field recordings of the sound the water makes near the Rotterdam riverbanks. These field recordings created the impression the Schouwburgplein was floating.
Zeno van den Broek made a soundscape existing
soundscape brought these locations auditory to the square.
The importance of Rotterdam as hub between the sea and the Ruhrgebiet was the inspiration of Falk Hübner. He made a soundscape, based on field recordings of Rotterdam and the Ruhrgebiet.
Georgios Papadakis is fascinated by the sounds the city and the harbour produce. His soundscape is a composition of these daily sounds, creating a familiar atmosphere by use of these daily sounds, but at the same time an alienated atmosphere,
because of the visual absence of the elements to normally produce the sound.