Paul Panhuysen
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Paul Panhuysen (Holland, 1934), a student of art and a painter himself, founded Holland's equivalent of the Fluxus movement. His early installations were inspired by Cage's dadaism and indeterminacy. He began experimenting with "long strings" (really long strings) in 1982, with more and more bizarre installations that hang strings both indoors and outdoors. The 3LP box-set Long String Installations (recorded between 1983 and august 1985) collects his early installations, mostly collaborations with Johan Goedhart.

Mexican Jumping Beans (august 1999) contains four pieces each scored for "sixteen jumping beans in eight containers" (the beans are activated by lamps and their "sounds" are picked up by home-made mikes).

Engines In Power And Love (july 1991) documents a performance for "five dot-matrix computer printers and an effects board/mixing desk".

Singing the World Into Existence (Het Apollohuis, 1992) documents an improvisation by birds when exposed to the sound of long strings and music tapes.

Lost For Words (recorded in 1997 - Table of the Elements, 1999) uses some of Panhuysen's old compositions to produce the sounds that make the long strings vibrate.

Partitas for Long Strings (recorded in 1997 - XI, 1999) contains three pieces, each for sixteen long strings but each with a different tuning: unison, equally diminishing, and proportional. Basically, the tuning "is" the score. This makes for "ultra-deep" listening, as very little happens during the 20+ minutes of the first piece. The second piece, on the other hand, is (by his standards) even melodramatic, as the music is louder, jarring, cacophonous. The third piece is even more troubled, jittery, even feverish, but this time the chaos seems to have a purpose and occasionally one perceives order (almost melodic order) being created out of disorder.

A Magic Square (premiered september 2003 - Plinkity Plonk, 2004) is the (droning, of course) soundtrack to one of his installations.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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