STEIRISCHER HERBST – KUNSTHAUS GRAZ
PROTECTIONS – WALL OF SOUND
The choir were so wonderful.
For my project Wall of Sound (in the Kunsthaus) I collected stories from people about songs they had used to protect themselves in some way. Songs as forms of advice (ironic or otherwise), songs as escape, retreat or distraction, songs as encouragement, songs as a form of self-definition. The stories/texts that people sent me are great. Some very simple, moving, generous narratives, some great complicated speculations about songs and what they mean in people s lives. For a long time I thought the stories were the most important things. I was busy working on the texts editing, wordprocessing. But here in Graz I got to see the choir rehearse and then perform. For the project Kunsthaus, Franz Jochum and I initiated a choir comprising members of the firm which provides security at the Museum.
When they sing the songs its just the songs. these pieces of unfolding time, melody, rhythm, voice and human breathing.
The choir sang a range of the songs that were proposed to me as possible means of protection: from Joni Mitchell s Blue, to The Beatles Eleanor Rigby; from Auferstanden aus Ruinen, the National Anthem of the Deutschen Demokratischen Republik to Einstürzende Neubauten s Halber Mensch.
This last song was very eerie. The security guards looked like strange millatary Dadaists, with these silver megaphones.