An introduction to the Slow Noise Movement series can be read on my old blog. Ever since I have started with these series, I get to know new themes and even more names of rebelling students of Pierre Schaefer. The last addition is Arend Veugels. I heard of him when I visited Paris earlier this year. I was at the Salon pour le Poor where the works of Luc Ferrari were discussed. I had hoped to meet his widow, Ms. Brunhild Ferrari, but was presented to an Argentinian woman, who must have been in her sixties. She presented herself as Tata Solar, the ex-wife of Arend Veugel.
It was a kind of ” you are from the south of The Netherlands, what a coincidence also my ex-husband was from that part, Schin op Geul, do you know this town?” introduction. Upon my “yes, I have seen it quite often when passing by with the train,” she told me a bit about him. Arend Veugel was born a son of a piano maker in Schin op Geul in the year 1936. After finishing school and a short career as a cyclo crosser (3rd Dutch junior championships, 1953), he moved to Paris. Here he first found a job as an apprentice to the famous Parisian piano maker Carlos Lecloft. He was not a very good pupil, because he spend most of the time detuning the instruments. He got to know Pierre Schaefer when he brought him an invitation to visit a recital at the Salon LeCloft. He stayed the entire day in his studio, and that was the excuse to get fired.
At the Pierre Schaefer studio Arend was asked to say his name for five minutes without pausing. Mr.Schaefer demonstrated the cut up technique. Arend heard himself say: Arend Veugel Areugel, Rendegel, Aveugel, aveugel, aveugel.” This came as a shock to the young man. The shock turned him into the most short term student Schaefer ever had: five hours and seventeen minutes to be exact. It is also the name of Arend Veugel’s first composition: aveugle pour cinque heurs et dixsept minutes (blind for five hours and seventeen minutes)
For twenty years Arend Veugel researched diverse ways of playing blindfolded. His vision was to present the artist as a non visionair, condemned to move always further into darker areas. He strongly believed that entering the acoustic world without eye sight would bring him closer to first feel and then hear the aura of each and every object. He was even more convinced that every object contained sound data, that, if listened to in the right state of mind, could reveal all about the mysteries of the origins of the universe.
Life with him became unbearable for Tata Solar. She liked the sun. Arend Veugel moved to Louisville, Kentucky to work at The American Printing House for the Blind, after he lost his eye sight in 1987.
Together with Seiji Morimoto I will perform the Arend Veugel’s composition “Le douleur et le bonheur” a piece for two blind folded musicians, to be played for an undefinable time. The piece starts as soon as the musicians unpack their instruments.
Slow Noise Movement #7 with Seiji Morimoto
Sunday 29 November from 16.00 onwards live and via stream
at radio aporee Bürknerstr.9 U8 Schönleinstrasse 12047 Berlin