Emeka Ogboh

Installation view 2017, photograph: Henning Rogge

Installation view 2017, photograph: Henning Rogge

Passage through Moondog

Sound installation (soundscapes, Couplets by Moondog, Trimba music, 16 speakers)

Location

Hamburger Tunnel (underpass)

Münster central station

Temporary Installation for the duration of the exhibition

 

Credits

Lyrics: Moondog • Read by: Judith Frey, Wolfgang Gnida, Tineke Kaiser, Konstanze Klecha, Stefan Lakatos, Britta Peters, Tatjana Niederberghaus, Anna-Lena Treese, Sophia Trollmann, Jessica Tropp, Marianne Wagner, Doris Wermelt • Trimba music: Stefan Lakatos • Soundscapes: Titus Maderlechner, Emeka Ogboh • Consultant: Wolfgang Gnida • Sound design: Titus Maderlechner

With kind permisson of the estate of Louis Hardin (Moondog), represented by executor Alexander Duve, Berlin.

 

Quiet Storm

Material

Honey beer with lime blossom; amount brewed: 60 hl, 7.5 % alcohol

Available at

Brewed in collaboration with Philipp Overberg (Guthaus-Brauerei)at Anders Brewery (Belgium)

Sound design: Thomas Bücker

Emeka Ogboh

* 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria, lives in Berlin, Germany and Lagos, Nigeria

Emeka Ogboh deals with urban sounds, the babel of voices, songs, shouts, screams, and bankground noise, but he also works with his own compositions, consisting of existing songs and public speeches. He filters specific tonal and content-related layers from complex sound material and converts them into experimental musical pieces and spatial audio installations that can be heard in exhibition spaces and in compositions for public spaces like his arrangement for the African Union’s new headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He generates auditory topographies of urban and political sound textures, whose layers are exposed by the artist as an extract of social and cultural diversity. Ogboh’s works focus on the use of all five senses for perception, smell and taste included. He emphasizes the preparation of food and drink as a means of creating identity that is passed on from one generation to the next and along migratory routes.

As his contribution to Sculpture Projects, Ogboh has developed a sound concept for the Hamburger Tunnel, an underground passageway next to Münster’s main station. Based on the compositions and poems of the legendary American musician Moondog, he uses, among other things, material recorded on the trimba by Moondog’s close friend Stefan Lakatos. The instrument was invented by Moondog—a blind street musician, who was born Louis Thomas Hardin (1916–1999)—and it is characteristic of the pieces he began composing in the late 1940s. According to the obituary written by his old New York flatmate Philip Glass, he was one of the most influential nonconformists of his time, an associate of Leonard Bernstein, and a source of inspiration for the composer Artur RodziƄski. Thanks to his intense involvement with rhythm, melody, and language, Moondog wrote several hundred two-line poems in addition to his music pieces. After leaving New York, where he had gained fame as the Viking of 5th Avenue, Moondog ended up in the Westphalian town of Oer-Erkenschwick, moving just before he died to Münster, where he is buried at the main municipal cemetery. The concept of soundscapes shared by both Moondog and Ogboh reveals a common interest in the public space as a source and stage for their compositions: the street, which John Cage called ‘the true concert hall’.

Ogboh has also contributed a second project: the beer called Quiet Storm, which he had brewed in Belgium and enhanced with lime-blossom honey from the Westerholt meadow along Münster’s promenade. During the two-week process of fermentation, the brewery’s large beer tankers were equipped with special loudspeakers to sonify the beer and influence the brewing process with intense sound textures recorded in Lagos, Africa’s most populous city, an overlapping mix of about five hundred Nigerian dialects, ritual music, techno and traffic noise. All the city’s good vibes are present in Quiet Storm.

 

Nicola Torke

Location

  • Still existing / Public Collection
  • Removed
  • In the museum