2019 was the 20th anniversary of the exceptional musician Moondog’s death (1916–1999). The blind composer, poet and music theorist was an important figure in the counterculture of the 1960s and -70s. Moondog, “Viking of the 6th Avenue”, active both in the USA and in Germany as a street artist, mobile poet and instrument maker, has exerted substantial influence on contemporary art until today. From the mid-1970s on, his nomadic lifestyle led the Ameri-can artist first to Hamburg, then via Recklinghausen to Münster, where he lived until his death.
Departing from Moondog’s works, the composer Thies Mynther and theatre maker Veit Sprenger in collaboration with the visual artist Tobias Euler have created an interventionist music machine. The Moon Machine is a mobile sound system — a bricolage consisting of pneumatic instruments and mechatronic sound automats, sun shades, bugles and acoustic collision warning devices — being played by the two performers Mynther and Sprenger. The acoustic sculpture developed in cooperation with the Theater im Pumpenhaus was first put into operation by the artists at the international festival Flurstücke 019 in Münster in 2019.
In the frame of the exhibition at the Kunsthalle Münster, the trio made up of Euler, Mynther and Sprenger is continuing the interdisciplinary project at the interface of music, theatre and visual art. The Kunsthalle thus transforms into a stage, the exhibition functions as a synesthetic spectacle. In the course of the show the Moon Machine evolves into an installation, throwing off tentacles and connecting with the space at the Kunsthalle. Much like Moondog’s appearance, the music machine meets the viewer head-on. The individual instruments take centre stage as objects and can be examined in detail. This brings both a sensuous and a visual aspect of making music into focus.
Artist Tobias Euler enriched the Moon Machine during the Corona-induced temporary closing. The sound sculpture grew new organ pipes, triangles, tonewoods, sounding pipes and an automatic accordeon. Thies Mynther composed new sequences for the added instruments, which can be enjoyed from May 26th.
Moondogging EP1 was released at the exhibition’s start in February. Now, Moondogging EP2 will be released. The EP brings together new pieces by the musicians, including We are the Moondogs and cover versions of New Amsterdam and The Overtone Continuum / Marimba Mondo (Medley) as well as sounds from the exhibition. Both EPs are available on all major streaming portals and via Bandcamp.
Supplementing the Moon Machine, the Kunsthalle Münster presents exhibits from the estate of Louis Thomas Hardin (aka. Moondog), deriving from his archive in Münster and now shown publicly in this form for the first time.
Final concert on 21.06.2020, 6.30 pm
Moon Machine, landing. Concert by Thies Mynther + Veit Sprenger
Moon Machine, Landing
11.02 - 21.06.2020
Kunsthalle Münster, Hafenweg 28, 5th floor, 48155 Münster
Opening hours: Tue – Sun, 12 – 6 pm
Since May 6, 2020, the museum will resume its exhibition operations, taking into account the necessary hygiene protection measures.
Preview of the upcoming exhibitions:
Daniel Steegmann: Mangrané
20.02. – 16.05.2021
Opening: 19.02.2021, 7 pm