Thursday, May 11, 2006

SpanishTrilogy - Bilbao - An Idea for a Toilet Music Festival

Txema and Josu belong to musica ex machina. The name proves that some time ago they must have encountered the illusionist's trick of the writer, who uses God to save his story. MEM organises concerts all through the year and a festival every december. Txema is involved in organising for twenty years now. Political recognition has brought the organisation yearly grants. Thanks to this support MEM can invite groups and persons from outside the Basque region.

I performed in the Bullit Groove Club, a nice darkshaded bar with a furry seventies touch. The concert was for free. The audience was at the other side of the blinding light, but among the regulars who stayed at the back, or walked out when I got too loud, I could recognize a few rows of attentive listeners.

After the set Txema stormed the stage and put the volume to the maximum. Another short piece he ordered with a wide grin. The reward was overwhelming: grilled fish in a restaurant around midnight, and a few local grappa's in a bar after midnight. One of the things we discussed were toilet music and friends of God out of the machine that recently had come to live with the Bilbaoans: The Guggenheim's.

Dear ,

During one summer I worked in a restaurant as a cleaner. It was a busy restaurant, and one of the things I had to clean were the toilets. You can imagine what I encountered every day. Nonetheless the very doubtfull fame a toilet cleaner has, I took pride from my work. The toilet is one of the key zones of a habitat.

When the Guggenheim Museum came to Bilbao, they, I imagine, had to find some cleaners in the city itself. Other positions were for people with special talents, and those are a bit harder to find. Bilbao is not New York, nor is it Venice; it is just a city in the north of Spain.

Whatever politics are performed in the direction hall, the bathroom remains the most down to earth zone of the museum. In a physical way it is here where the museum is in direct contact with the city of Bilbao. You need some metaphysics to escape from downearthlyness. So why not upgrade the bathroom area?

I would like to suggest to you an all year round toilet music festival. The idea is quite simple. Get a soundartist to compose toilet music. Put up some speakers in the bathroom. Connect them to a stereo. Depose the CD. Set the controls on `replay´. Push `play´.

As an experiment I would like to suggest to engage Txema and Josu as the curators for the toilet area of your museum. They combine two excellent qualities: they are from Bilbao and they have an immense network of soundartists that could fit in into the low-profile territory. Musica ex machina could serve to help transit the gloria
mundi: musica non olet.

If you think a whole year round festival of toilet music is too risky, you could have a try-out coming december by participating with the MEM-festival and ask the MEM – guys to take care of your private parts.

With respect and kind regards, Rinus van Alebeek


Guggenheim Bilbao:

Laptop Variations:

Been There, Done That - First Movement:
Been There, Done That - Second
Been There, Done That - Third Movement:


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