MATRIX focuses in part on recent music historys milestones. (Our library starts with music that has been written starting in 1950.) One manner in which we draw our audience’s attention to our collection in though putting together large and small-scale exhibitions.
In recent years, we have developed such exhibitions based on the works and lives of the composers Karel Goeyvaerts and Lucien Goethals. We have also presented an exhibition on graphic notation. During the annual Flemish heritage event ‘Erfgoeddag’ (tr.: Heritage Day), we always put together a display of a relevant selection of our collection that fits that year’s theme.
Exhibitions: a retrospective
25 years after his sudden death, Karel Goeyvaerts’s biography still has the appeal of a novel. Although his name does not always ring a bell outside our country, it was Karel Goeyvaerts (1923-1993) who, in 1951 discretely conquered the legendary Ferienkurse für neue Musikin Darmstadt with the first pages of totally serial music. With this music, he would undeniably leave a mark on the post-war avant-garde. However, just 7 years, later Goeyvaerts would attend the World Exhibition, “Expo 58,” in Brussels not as a composer, but as an employee of Sabena Airlines. During this brief period, he abandoned his compositional ambitions, only to quickly get back on track and venture into new possibilities. During the last decade of his life, he devoted his attentions to his magnum opus, the opera Aquarius. Goeyvaerts’s personal history offered more than enough reasons for MATRIX to shed light on this remarkable composer in an exhibition that opened in 2018.
The exhibition Goeyvaerts gespiegeld ran from the 21stof February to the 30thof March, 2018 in the corridors of KADOC in Leuven and was realized in close collaboration with KADOC (Documentation and Research Center on Religion, Culture and Society), University Archive Leuven and the Research Group of Musicology at Leuven University.
To wet the appetite, we offered an appetizer for this expo: a smaller pop-up exhibition. This was presented in AMUZ and De Bijloke in November 2017. The pop-up served as a frame two concerts presented by I Solisti in which Goeyvaerts’s Avontuur(1958), amongst other compositions, was featured.
Do you intend to organize an event or performance that includes the music of Goeyvaerts? If you are interested in including our pop-up exhibition, do let us know.
The many worlds of Lucien Goethals
Lucien Goethals – a Ghent-based composer with an Argentinian soul – passed away in 2006. In 2016, the time was ripe for a tribute and a (re)discovery of the various realms created by this extraordinary musician.
Poet and musicologist Dr. Jelle Dierickx was given carte blanche to make the publication 'The Pluriverse of Lucien Goethals'. He personally dived into the archives of the Conservatory Library in Ghent and the IPEM (Institute for Psycho-Acoustics and Electronic Music). And, in collaboration with these two partners, we composed an online exhibition on Lucien Goethals and his oeuvre. This online expo was part of a three-part exposition that was held in March, 2016, both online and at two spaces in the Ghent Conservatory (Hoogpoort and Wijnaert).
We were not alone in our celebrations of this anniversary. For the same occasion, artist Hallveig Agustsdottir created a number of sound paintings based on Goethals’s music, which were on display in Zebrastraat in Ghent. SPECTRA ensemble and conductor Filip Rathé are true specialists in the music of Lucien Goethals. They collected their best recordings for a new record, which was presented during a concert in the MIRY Concert Hall in Ghent.
The tenth anniversary of the foundation of MATRIX was celebrated in 2012. Within the framework of this celebration, an exhibition was set up together with the Leuven University Library. All kinds of graphic scores from the collection of MATRIX were brought together for this expo, which was related to a publication entitled ‘Getekende klanken’ (tr.: Drawn sounds).
Graphic scores are a fascinating phenomenon in (contemporary) music history. They rose to importance in the 1950s and ‘60s when composers were on the outlook for alternative music notational systems, different from traditional musical coding systems. This exposition displayed some of the most imaginative examples of such compositions, including works by John Cage (Aria), Cornelius Cardew (Treatise), Karlheinz Stockhausen, Earle Brown (Folio and Four Systems), Sylvano Bussotti (Rara), Anestis Logothetis, Robin Hayward, Lucien Goethals, Karel Goeyvaerts (Parcours), György Ligeti (Volumina) and Thomas Smetryns. The featured scores were enlivened through audio and video fragments, interviews, photographs and much more.