Mathijs Leeuwis, Tilburg's current city composer, is ready to launch his second music project about and in the city. Especially for the Textielmuseum he developed Memo from a fiber, a new version of his Tapeloop Temple, which will be premiered on Saturday, August 28. From then on, the museum's auditorium will be transformed for four weeks into a documentary installation in which new music, video and textile tell a story that Leeuwis refers to as the silent history of Tilburg.
With this 10-minute piece, the composer offers visitors of the sound temple a dive into the local history of child labor and exploitation in the Dutch textile industry. For example, some excerpts are quoted from the parliamentary inquiry of 1887, in which the difference between the day laborers and the textile tycoons becomes painfully clear. For this work, Leeuwis also made sound recordings at the TextielMuseum and conducted research.
"When I was allowed to look at the museum archives, everything suddenly came together for me. After the ban on child labor in 1874, it took quite a while before this was completely eradicated in practice. I became fascinated by the discourse on this hidden factory suffering and used it to give voice to the story of one worker, and thus to touch on a much bigger story" - Mathijs Leeuwis
Old photographs fade and yellow, people disappear, stories die out, names are no longer spoken. Tapes and videotapes become unusable. There is something beautiful and melancholy in transience. Tapeloop Temple is an installation built around minimalist sound compositions. These are performed on tapeloops, analog sound tapes that are stretched, slowed down and repeated.
The Tape Loop Temple is free to visit on weekends between 12:00 and 17:00 from August 28 through September 19. Reservations can only be made on location on the day of visit, and work by physical time slot cards. The penultimate weekend (September 11 and 12) features special live variations of Memo from a Fibre with Rianne Wilbers, soprano with Ensemble VONK.
Leeuwis (b. 1985) is a multi-instrumentalist with a focus on pedal steel guitar and a deep-rooted fascination with analog sound sources. He will be performing in 2021 and 2022 under the title city composer of Tilburg in collaboration with ensemble VONK. The position is an initiative of concert organization De Link, which aims to bring new composed music to the attention of the public. This project is supported by the City of Tilburg and the Province of Noord-Brabant.