Sandra Boss & Jonas Olesen: Interferens

Location Regelbau 411, Hovedvejen 1, 7790 Thyholm, Denmark

Sounds of the bell from Struer railway station, Japanese prayer bells, an old fire alarm bell from Elsinore, bells from Copenhagen, bells from the door of a store in South Zealand, little brass bells from Poland, German ship bells, a table bell from Sweden, Christmas bells from Norway and a cow bell from Jordan. For many years the two artists Jonas Olesen and Sandra Boss have collected bells on their travels around the world.

For many years the two artists Jonas Olesen and Sandra Boss have collected bells on their travels around the world. INTERFERENCE will bring parts of this bell assortment to life.  

The bells in the installation consists of various shapes and sizes, and thus with different sonic expressions. The bells range widely from functionality to frequency, from prayer bells to fire alarms. Each of them has a very specific audible meaning within their signals, for example alarms, warnings and reminders to gather or to disrupt. Common to all these bells is that they were originally designed to pull us out of daily passive listening, they are intended to invoke our auditory attention. 

In INTERFERENCE, the bells now appear in a new paradigm, where the sounds are rung out across their geographical and cultural starting points. The system is not transparent. There is no single particular message. Above all, it seems to announce an alternative to the bells originally intended sonic command, overturning the idea of the original and seemingly unmistakable sound meanings of the bells. Instead, they now invite to contemplative and even musical listening, creating a space of new meanings and connections. 

About the artist

Sandra Boss (1984) and Jonas Olesen (1979) have worked together the recent years, where they have created sound works spanning between installation and performance. Often, these works have been based on extinct technologies that have not necessarily been intended for a musical activity, but which nevertheless turn out to hide a rich potential for sound. 

Sandra Boss is a danish composer and sound artist based in Copenhagen. Boss frequently unfolds her work through installations and performance, utilizing machines and instruments to create sound in untraditional ways. For instance, her works have featured ancient tone generators, hearing test equipment, bird whistles and a one meter long accordion. In the recent years, organs have played a central role in Boss creations, she has written compositions for church organs and home built, computer controlled pipe organs.

With a background in classical music she has also studied electronic music composition at the Royal Academy of Music. At the moment she’s a PhD student in sound art at the university of Aarhus. Boss has performed at several venues both in Denmark as well as abroad, among others Cafe Oto in England, KRAAK Festival in Belgium, Detritus Festival in Greece and Super Deluxe in Japan.

Jonas Olesen is a composer and sound artist based in Copenhagen. He often utilizes sounds from old and forgotten instruments and machines in his works. In the past, Olesen has collaborated with Boss – for instance, on the work MASKINEL TERAPI (mechanical therapy), which features recordings from answering machine tapes found in thrift shops and at flea markets. The tapes, which contain recorded messages left by friends and acquaintances as well as various case workers, psychologists and artisans, are used in a live performance which also involves sounds from electric muscle stimulators and sleeping machines. Olesen has performed at various international festivals such as Transmediale in Berlin, SPOR festival in Aarhus and at Roskilde Festival. He has been the coordinator of the Nordic Sound Art education, and co-founder of IDL – the Institute for Danish Sound Archeology. Olesen also manages the label company BIN, who primarily release historical electronic music.

‘Interferens’, 2019, Sandra Boss og Jonas Olesen. Photo: Mikkel Høgh Kalpal

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