Curvices Amsterdam (2013, 2015) is an interactive poetry and song cycle, a virtual poetry and music installation, for cell phones and mobile devices, that accompanies you on your walk around the concert venue Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. By changing location you codetermine the development of the music and the poetry. Where are you? What do you hear? Is it indigenous birds that are singing in the forest or do you hear birds from Portugal through your cell phone? Is it a siren you hear or is it the wind? By exploring the terrain you probe sounds and words, you make a journey through the forest, around the world, in as many steps as you like.
The space around Muziekgebouw and along the broad river IJ have been spatially designed, i.e. divided, by architect Machiel Spaan into nineteen zones, virtual spaces. Each of the zones has its own composition and poem, written and composed by Rozalie Hirs, and an animation, designed by Cox & Grusenmeyer. Yvan Vander Sanden designed the software and programmed the app. The soundapp and interactive poetry and song cycle Curvices Amsterdam registers your location through the GPS on your cell phone or tablet. If you enter a new zone, the corresponding composition sounds and the animation becomes visible. If you are between zones, you hear a recognizable interlude full of birds and sparkling overtones.
The original Curvices (2013) app was written and composed by Rozalie Hirs, commissioned by Musica, Neerpelt, Belgium, for the open-air sound art museum Klankenbos, with financial support of a Composition Stipend 2012-13 of the Dutch Performing Arts Fund. Curvices Amsterdam (2015) was adapted for the spaces around Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, at the occasion of its tenth anniversary, with financial support of M3H Archtecten.
Rozalie Hirs (music, poetry, voice)
Cox & Grusenmeyer (design, animation)
Yvan vander Sanden (software design, realization)
Machiel Spaan (spatial design)
Wiek Hijmans (electric guitar)
Patricio Wang (bass guitar)
Martín Ibarburu (drums)
Magnus Robb (birdsong recordings)
Carlos Dalla-Fiore (mixing, mastering)
Mathijs de Valk (technical assistance)
The composition Curvices (2013) consists of ten tracks and an interlude:
A Six destinations (2013) duration 3’32”
B Aurora borealis (2013) duration 4’49”
C This singing of tongues (2013) duration 1’58”
D Ladders of escape (2013) duration 3’37”
E Too many snakes here (2013) duration 2’26”
F Climbing a small rock (2013) duration 3’01”
G Substance of memory (2013) duration 2’03”
H Proofs of love (2013) duration 3’40”
J Words roll into brightness (2013) duration 2’44”
K Lines of moving about desert, salt water, cities (2013) duration 1’30”
Interlude (2013) duration 17’32”
speaking voice (A, B, D, E, F, G, K)
vocals (C, H, J)
electric guitar (C, H, J)
bass guitar (A, C, H, J, K)
drums (A, C, H, J, K)
electronic and electroacoustic sounds
The music for Curvices (2013) was composed by Rozalie Hirs on the basis of her bibliophile poetry collection Curvices and Musicles (Bleiswijk: Studio 3005, 2013). The book is designed, set, and hand printed by Marc Vleugels.
Lines of movement. Mark six destinations of your
choice on a map of your choice. The destinations may
possess significantly different histories, ages,
numbers of inhabitants, and snackbars. Trace six
different paths of your choice from [here] to each
of the destinations, adding up to thirty-six different
paths. Add one more path connecting all six places,
preferably with the shortest possible distance, taking
into account unsurmountable obstacles such as mountains,
lakes. Buy one pair of new shoes. Pack your backpack.
With what? A tent, sleeping bag, gun?
The total duration of the entire compostion is 47’11”. The duration of the sound walk is determined by each individual visitor.
11 September 2015, 17:00 CET, Terrace of Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ (next to Restaurant Zouthaven), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Official opening with a guided tour and lecture by Rozalie Hirs and Machiel Spaan.
From 11 September 2015 until 14 September 2016 the installation is permanently accessible to the public, and free of entrance fee, at the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam.. The Curvices Amsterdam sound and poetry app (2015) is available as a free download iTunes (for iPhones, and iPads), and Google Play (for Android phones and tablets). Please note that the Curvices Amsterdam app is location specific, hence it only works when actually present around Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ.