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.
For the opening on 9 February 2020 and at the end of the exhibition on 17 April 2020, Thies Mynther and Veit Sprenger will play the Moon Machine in its different states.
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.
6 Feb 2020, 11 am, guided tour of the exhibition for the press
9 Feb 2020, 4 pm, opening of the exhibition and concert by Thies Mynther + Veit Sprenger
17 Apr 2020, 7:30 pm, concert by Thies Mynther + Veit Sprenger
Kunsthalle Münster, Hafenweg 28, 5th floor, 48155 Münster
Opening hours: Tue – Sun, 12 – 6 pm