New sounds in Kassel: the Volkswagen Soundorchestra at the documenta fifteen – Volkswagen Newsroom

July 13, 2022 by No Comments

As part of documenta fifteen, the Volkswagen-Soundorchestra presents its work with unusual links between industrial work and performing art to an international audience. The members of the orchestra have jobs in different areas of Volkswagen’s Kassel plant and meet after work to create art. Inspired and instructed by Detlef Landeck, a professional jazz musician, they have developed a unique Big Band sound which combines typical wind instruments with new sounds created by playing on car parts or by using noise recordings from different manufacturing areas. During these creative processes, the orchestra is also supported by sound artists Wolfram Spyra and Alan Affichard as well as the drummer and composer Olaf Pyras.

A one-day workshop with Olaf Pyras is available on July 13, 2022, multi-day workshops with the artist and the orchestra can be joined between July 18–21, 2022, and September 14–16, 2022. Further to experiencing this special music, participants will be also able to actively perform music and to develop individual new sounds. This practice can be done by using original Volkswagen car parts and the “Klangbus” (sound bus), a singular VW LT28 specially converted by the orchestra. Furthermore, the 15-strong Volkswagen-Soundorchestra can be also experienced during public performances, taking place on July 21, September 16 and September 24 at the Museum Fridericianum in Kassel. Detailed information about the workshops can be found here:

Benita von Maltzahn, Head of Cultural Engagement at Volkswagen: “We are a lead partner of documenta fifteen, and we are very delighted about the direct and vivid contribution of the Volkswagen-Soundorchestra with its members that are part of the Volkswagen workforce in Baunatal. They look forward to be joined by visitors of the exhibition for engaging with industrial sounds and starting with own musical experiments.”

Volkswagen is a lead partner of documenta fifteen which is realised under the artistic direction of ruangrupa. The Jakarta-based artist group has used the principles of lumbung to develop the 15th documenta edition. In Indonesia, lumbung is used to describe a communal rice barn, but it also represents a creative and economic model characterized by collectivity, communal resource sharing and equal allocation. lumbung has been made the key concept for all forms of collaboration and for the exhibition design. It is also the joint mission of ruangrupa, the creative team, the lumbung members, the lumbung artists and all contributors on their way to shape documenta fifteen, to realize the 100-day exhibition which is still on view until September 25, 2022, and to carry its ideas into the future.

The partnership with documenta extends Volkswagen’s international engagement for culture and the arts, that focuses on strengthening artists, institutions and projects around company sites and beyond. The activities underline the commitment to enable a wide audience to engage with creative work and ideas, offering the chance to develop new perspectives for innovations and discourses.



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