Ronald van der Meijs

Exploring earthly sounds for nine candles

Ronald van der Meijs Exploring earthly sounds for nine candles

source: vimeo
For a solo exhibition at de Vishal Art Foundation in the Netherlands, he developed a site specific sound installation that evokes the majestic cathedral located in Haarlem’s old city centre. Yet through the design, the artist particularly pays tribute to the Muller organ through a spiritual blend of candles and sound.

Here a meditative atmosphere is created through a slow and constant changing sound coming from the installation. By doing so, he reflects on the slowness and decay of religions in the rapid modern world of today. But the work also appeals to our humanity, to the fragility of life and to the often imperceptible but progressive decay of mind and body. The candles are in fact the musicians of this sound installation, and their diversity in size slowly yet irregular transform the pitched sound of each organ pipe. In this way, the overall sound is constantly changing — which causes a rich diversity in pulsating bass rhythms.

As an artist working with sound, van der Meijs was curious about pitching up ultra-low bass pipe sounds in order to create a constant drone-like audio. To give an idea on the sound speed, the smallest candles need to be changed every six hours while the thickest runs more than five days. In other words, this installation requires daily care and attention. The burning candles get shorter and cause a vertical movement in each mechanism. Because the candles’ fat is burning a way at the top, a special little shaft around the candles is drawn downward thus, by way of a spring system which pushes the candle up while it gets shorter, it pulls a wheel connected to a brass valve, opening it up on the front end of each organ pipe at the same speed to which the candle burns. In this way, the air column of the organ pipes gets shorter and pitches up their tone. The air pump is built in a rubber skin-covered box to kill the noise, and which blows up when the pump is starting to work — as it is the heart of the installation. The pump blows an airstream into the wooden ducts, causing very low and soft bass tones in each organ pipe.
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source: saatchiart

I’m an Amsterdam based designer / artist in the field of sculpture, installation and sound art and architectonical design. Born in 1966 in Tilburg, Netherlands he lives and works in Amsterdam. He studied architectural design and graduated cum laude in 1993 at the Art Academy St. Joost / Avans Hogeschool in Breda. From 1993 he had his own practice and focused primarily on architectural designs and concepts involving various architectural, furniture and interior assignments, which have been realized. He received several architectural stipends from the government and had exhibitions in museums and galleries such as NAI in Rotterdam, Central Museum Utrecht in the Netherlands and the Martinez gallery in New York. Centro de Arte Complutense Madrid, Dordrechts Museum, Gorcums Museum, SIM House Reykjavik, Museum Bronbeek Arnhem, DordtYart Dordrecht, Netherlands, Fabbrica Europa 2012 Florence, Italy and Verbeke Art Foundation Kemzeke, Belgium. Since 2001 his work shifted to conceptually and autonomous work in which architecture is still a recurring theme. Ronald van der Meijs has exhibitions in various museums, galleries, artists’ initiatives, art biennials and festivals in the Netherlands and abroad. He received art commissions of the Dutch Province of Drenthe, SKOR and Atelier Rijksbouwmeester / Dutch Ministry of housing. Also he received two art grands from Mondriaan Funds of the Dutch government.
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source: v2nl

Born in 1966, Ronald van der Meijs lives and works in Amsterdam. He studied architectural design and graduated cum laude in 1993 at the Academy of Arts St. Joost in Breda, Netherlands. From 1993 he has had his own practice and focused primarily on architectural design and concepts. He received architectural stipends and was a lecturer in spatial design at the Academie of Arts St. Joost for three years. Since 2001 his work shifted to autonomous work in which architecture and sound is still a recurring theme. He has exhibited in various museums, galleries, and biennials in the Netherlands and abroad, including the NAI in Rotterdam, Central Museum Utrecht, Dordrechts Museum, Gorinchem Museum in the Netherlands, Martinez gallery in New York, SIM House Reykjavik, Verbeke Art Foundation in Belgium, Fabbrica Europa 2012 in Florence and Centro de Arte Complutense in Madrid. He received art commissions from the Dutch Government and several grants from the Mondriaan Fund.