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THE D R AWI N G CENTER

THE LAB

William Engelen Falten

November 22, 2013 – January 12, 2014

Curated by Nova Benway


William Engelen Falten

William Engelen recently told me that in his early days as a musician, he loved to rehearse but disliked repetition. No surprise, then, that his work hinges on improvisation. But Engelen hardly leaves his compositions to chance: his is a studied form of spontaneity. Based on his understanding of music to include spatial and social as well as aural experience, he takes compositional cues from the physical structure of his scores and invites significant input from the musicians who will perform each piece. At The Drawing Center, Engelen presents Falten for Percussion, the latest in a series of Falten [Folds] works begun in 2010. To begin each score, he makes simple timing marks on a sheet of paper: each centimeter represents one second. He then folds, twists and knots the sheet, finally drawing staff lines on the newly created landscape. Each fold in the paper thus creates a reappearing space of silence in the piece, its character determined by the path of the crease. Sometimes he knows precisely what effect will be created (a vertical fold will create uniform moments of silence), but sometimes, particularly with diagonal folds, the result is impossible to predict. To decide which instrument belongs to each score, Engelen often observes the peaks and arcs of the paper, choosing a sound quality that will reflect the character of these shapes: sharp or percussive for tight folds, sonorous and resonant for rolling curves. Falten for Percussion was developed with members of the celebrated ensemble Talujon, during conversation via email over the last few months, rehearsals in New York this fall, and what Engelen describes as purely intuitive observation of the scores. Using traditional instruments such as snare drum and triangle, as well as more unusual objects like sandpaper and a handsaw, Talujon will perform the scores twice during the run of the exhibition. For Engelen, such collaboration is an indispensable aspect of each final piece. Directed but not controlled, it makes improvisation the stuff of composition – much like the Falten themselves. —Nova Benway, Curatorial Assistant


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Born in Weert, Holland, William Engelen lives and works in Berlin and Rotterdam. He has composed works for instruments as diverse as violin, electric guitar, percussion, harp, accordion, and voice. His compositions have been presented in parks, city squares, mobile phones, music halls, galleries and museums. His recent solo exhibitions include Verstrijken, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2009; Faltenrock, Georg Kargl Box, Vienna, 2011; and Music Box, Haus am Waldsee Berlin, 2011.

All works courtesy of the artist Inside photos by Cathy Carver

William Engelen: Falten is made possible with financial support from the Mondriaan Fund and with public funds from the Consulate General of The Netherlands in New York.

3 5 W O O S T E R S T R E E T | N E W YO R K , N Y 10 013 T 212 219 216 6 | D R AW I N G C E N T E R . O R G

3 5 W O O S T E R S T R E E T | N E W YO R K , N Y 10 013 T 212 219 216 6 | D R AW I N G C E N T E R . O R G


William Engelen Falten

November 22, 2013 – January 12, 2014

Profile for The Drawing Center

William Engelen: Falten  

Curated by Nova Benway

William Engelen: Falten  

Curated by Nova Benway

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