Looking back at SECHS

Door 24classics

From June 17 to July 4 SECHS, the audiovisual spatial string instrument, could be visited in the Zuiderkerk in Amsterdam. We enjoyed every minute of it and we would like to look back at the amazing days we had together with the audience! 

The result of SECHS was an inspiring interplay between music, spatial sound, light and technology, between historical composition and current techniques. An otherworldly experience. “I’ve never experienced anything like this, amazing!” “It was like having a blanket of love spread over you.”

SECHS was initiated by 24classics, featuring multidisciplinary artist Boris Acket, composer Maarten Vos and light artist and media designer Christopher Bauder.

The Zuiderkerk in Amsterdam opened his doors for SECHS and over a 4000 people came to experience it! “Very impressive and special. I did not want to miss it” “So beautiful!! Definitely worth watching and listening to activate all your senses.”

The music of SECHS was a new electro-acoustic composition based on BACH’s 6th cello suite. Every note was produced on the cello of Maarten Vos. You could hear from traditional cello sounds to a completely distorted sound to percussive cello sounds. By distorting, stretching and manipulating the cello with effects new sound worlds were created.

Bach’s music has often been described as “mathematical” or “pure.” This is due in part to the intricate structures and symmetries present in his music. SECHS brought Bach’s heritage together with modern composition techniques and a refined kinetic light sculpture – emphasizing and re-interpreting his innovation in symmetry, repetition and composition. Not only the music, but also all other aspects of SECHS were based on the number 6. SECHS used a visual form that reinforced the systematic structures in a poetic way.

The spatial sound was very directly linked to the light. The light could at some points be a very literal representation of all the ‘strings’ of the instrument. One time the light really came out and the audio was guiding and the other time it was the other way around.

“A real conversation maker!” “It made me very relaxed!” “Fantastic, I have no words for it..”

Beside the daily shows, there were a couple of live concerts during SECHS. There were concerts with the Cello Biënnale Amsterdam in which the amazing Lidy Blijdorp, Ella van Poucke and Anastasia Feruleva performed. There was a concert with Entree and musicians of the Concertgebouw orchestra and there were concerts by Maarten Vos & Boris Acket themselves. These live concerts in combination with the installation really added an extra layer to the experience.

“I saw a story in it that was about ’the good’ thing to do in your life. The good is threatened by the evil, but in the end the good triumphs.”

“For me it was about the individual versus the collective.”

Finally, there were two special events. During the 24chambers edition the young and talented cellist Isaac Lottman performed a part of Bach’s cello suite No.1. At Oedipus Night, a collaboration of 24classics and Radio Oedipus, we presented a DJ performence by the Rotterdam based artist Alberta Balsam who performed a set combining electronica with classical.

© Jaap Beyleveld

We hope you enjoyed SECHS as much as we did!

“I had to think so much about how cool it was that it took place in a church. Also because somewhere there may still be thoughts and questions from so long ago and that whole institute that is so dead and dusty, but is also missed in a certain way. And that the abstraction of the work ensures that other hatches open in your head and that that is so important and chill!! Thanks a lot.”

With special thanks to: Kinetic Lights, WHITEVoid, 4DSOUNDOedipusFonds 1999, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Fonds 21, Zabawas, Sena Performers Fonds, Mr. August Fentener van Vlissingen Fonds.

Pictures by: Kaka Lee and Daan Koenderink 

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