Henry Andersen presents a preview of first LP during Kraak Festival
Henry Andersen (© Ivan Put)
"...free market, frikandel, Frida Kahlo, freeze, France, finance, violence, fiancé, Beyoncé…": this is only a small selection of the word list that Henry Andersen has been compiling for just over two years. "The list now has more than 5,000 different words, each of which sounds slightly different from the word before and after," the 24-year-old Australian artist tells us.
After studying music composition in Berlin, he moved to Elsene/Ixelles. What started as a word game has now become a way of ordering his life. "The words allow me to look back to a certain place or context. That's why it is important for the list to be chronological and long. When I still lived in Germany, there were more German words on the list."
"Now that I am living in Brussels, the number of French words is increasing, though the occasional Flemish term or name, which to me sounds very exotic, also sneaks in. Like 'frikandel' or 'Molenbeek' — I like the combination of the soft 'm' and hard 'k'. I enjoyed switching languages the most. For example, 'Jasper Johns' is followed by 'jus de pomme'."
Spaces and images
Henry Andersen has always been interested in language. He was already writing texts even when he was a member of noise-rock bands in Perth or experimenting with electronica. The classes he took in Berlin with the leading Austrian composer Peter Ablinger ultimately became a stepping stone to a Master in Fine Arts at the KASK in Ghent, where his perspective is currently being broadened to spaces and images.
Among other things, he makes room dividers, and he gives workshops on the various ways of reading a text. "I always composed music from nothing, for a specific instrument, while what I actually needed was a broad foundation that I could fall back on. My word list also has the advantage of being adjustable to several disciplines and contexts."
Andersen is coming to the KRAAK festival (03/03 > 05/03) to present a preview of Stanzas or the law of the good neighbour, his debut LP that will be released at the end of May. You hear two people read a fragment from the word list simultaneously. "It is a mix of native and non-native speakers, men and women, but they are all friends and they all live in Brussels. The context is still important, but I also wanted to express something of the dynamism between the performers and how their mutual relationship can change during the 25-minute reading session, which was recorded in one take in a studio in Schaarbeek/Schaerbeek."
"I especially love the scale of the Brussels scene. There is always something going on, but it is much more manageable than London or Berlin."
> KRAAK Festival: Henry Andersen. 04/03, 14.00, Beursschouwburg, Brussels