Could You Patent the Sun?

Marcus Schmickler will stage a musical soundscape on the Rhine river. A short, accurate, poetic intervention spanning across both banks of the river. Live, for free and outdoors. Only in Monheim am Rhein. Details to be announced.

Marcus Schmickler "Could You Patent the Sun?"

On Wednesday, July 1st, 2020, between 9 and 10 pm the public space in Monheim am Rhein will be permeated with a sound composition by Cologne-based composer Marcus Schmickler, entitled 'Could You Patent the Sun?'. It will basically be a sneak peek of his composition 'Entwurf einer Rheinlandschaft' (Draft of a Rhine Landscape) which is to be staged in full length at the Monheim Triennale in 2021. July's taste test provides first insights into this multimodal sonic space. A brief, accurate, poetic intervention spanning across both banks of the Rhine river, exploring the relationship between near and far. Live, free, and outdoors.

After the Triennale had been postponed due to the Corona crisis, we continued our talks and concerts featuring invited artists on the Web. Our Artist in Residence Achim Tang has been our wonderful host during the eleven livestream concerts and talks so far. One of many highlights was his encounter with Marcus Schmickler. The conceptual framework for Schmickler's performance was as simple as it was impressive. On April 14th the composer invited us to join him at his electroacoustic studio by simultaneously using multiple devices to log into his livestream and to distribute these devices throughout in our own rooms. Due to the inevitable latencies during the stream, a unique spatial experience was created which could be influenced by each participant.

Marcus Schmickler is now taking this further into the public space and thereby provides us with a first taste test of his composition 'Entwurf einer Rheinlandschaft' on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020. Four brass musicians will position themselves on the roof of the Kulturraffinerie K714 and deliver electro-acoustic sounds for the approx. 20-minute performance of 'Could You Patent the Sun?', which will be transmitted by speakers from the opposite side of the Rhine river spanning several hundred metres. The audience can simultaneously log into the specially created web stream with complementary content using their own smart devices, smartphones, etc. It will include recorded spoken words and singing by Okkyung Lee and Monheim Triennale artist Jennifer Walshe. The sound experience envisioned by the composer only takes shape as a result of the interaction of both the acoustic and electro-acoustic sounds from either side of the Rhine river as well as the transmitted livestream content. This is something you can only experience live and locally in Monheim am Rhein on July 1st, 2020!

The composition title and the libretto have been inspired by a famous quote by the American immunologist Jonas Salk, who discovered the polio vaccine in the 1950s. When asked whether he had applied for a patent for his polio vaccine, he replied: 'There is no patent. Could you patent the Sun?'

Participating artists
Marcus Schmickler - electronics, composition
Jennifer Walshe - 
Okkyung Lee - 
Brass musicians of the Ensemble Musikfabrik:
Christine Chapman (h)
Marco Blaauw (tp)
Bruce Collings (tb)
Melvyn Poore (eu)