Horst Rickels

Saturday, November 26, 1988 @ 8:00 pm

From The Netherlands, the elegant instrument builder, acoustic, architectural, and installation experimenter, and sonic magician.


Horst Rickels studied piano construction at Grotrian-Steinway in Braunschweig and worked in that function at Bechstein in Berlin. After this he studied music in Kassel where he composed ballet and theater music for the Staatstheater and was a member of the underground-band ‘Pigblood’. In 1972 he started studying electronic composition at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag. From 1973 he worked as a composer for the theater group Proloog in Eindhoven. In 1983 he earned his degree in music theory at the Brabants Conservatorium. During the next years, he formulated new principles for multimedia theater, resulting in Van Gogh’s Laatste Oor and The Simulated Wood, among others. Subsequently, he focused his research on the development of sound objects, sound sculptures, and sound installations.

The central question of his research is how the principle of instability of tuning-systems, pictorial structures and performance practices can be made the central theme of artworks. Another important aspect of his research is the study of spatial qualities of sound in relation to the natural and artificial environment. As a sound artist, he has shown his works in many countries and at international festivals. Often he has participated in projects that aimed at transforming outstanding places into a soundscape, such as Fort Klank in 1994 in which he, Dick Raaijmakers, and Walter Maioli transformed an old fortification into a monumental musical instrument. –Bio as of 2019