Curriculum Vitae
Hans van Koolwijk

Hans van Koolwijk (1952) is fascinated by sound, primordial sounds that you can knead, feel and hear. After graduating from both the Dutch Royal and the State Academy for Visual Arts, in 1987 he positioned himself between the visual arts and music. He has given concerts in museums such as the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum and Le Casino, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Luxembourg, and has also had exhibitions in concert halls such as the Rudolfinum in Prague and the Recital Hall of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. PORTRAIT MADE BY © JØRGEN KRIELEN 2006 VLAMINGSTRAAT 205 NL1093DL AMSTERDAM +31206921354 / +31654284913

Bambuso Sonoro

The central work of Hans van Koolwijk, the Bambuso Sonoro, originates from the idea of a single performer operating a number of flutes simultaneously. The Bambuso is an unpolished sound sculpture that is used as a musical instrument, whereby the visual is closely related to the aural. Sounds can be seen, as it were. One wants to be physically present, preferably between the flutes, to see the performer sweat, to experience the effort needed to produce the sounds.

Van Koolwijk has given many performances with the Bambuso, including locations such as Macba, the Contemporary Art Museum in Barcelona 1996, for Grame in Lyon 1997, for the ISCM Centre for Contemporary Music in Warsaw 1998, in the Rudolfinum in Prague 2000, for the ISCM in Ljubljana 2003, for Musica Viva in Lisboa 2005, for La Noche en Blanco in La Abadía in Madrid 2006, and in many places in the Netherlands. He has also worked together with various performers, including an opera production by Agnes Ponizil for the Dresden Centre for Contemporary Music 1998, with Willem Tanke on organ for the Rotterdam Music Biennial 2001, with the Schreck Ensemble in the Kunsthaus in Essen, Germany 2000, and with the Noise Makers Fifes, a Brussels-based experimental group in De Vooruit, Gent 2002. He worked with local musicians in Bucharest and Kaunas in 2004, in Cracow, 2006, Sibiu 2007.

Sound is substance

Van Koolwijk states. He has developed this idea in many of his sound sculptures, such as OorSprong, a more than 12 meter high flute in which one can stand and in which vibrations can be felt through one's entire body. And in Glissando, whose high-pitched little flutes with their penetrating difference tones make one's ears itch.

In the 'Sound Reflector' the sound of the small flutes is reflected to one point in space. The listener can discover this point by moving his/her head, so that it seems as if the sound is generated within one's head. The same idea on a larger scale, an ellipsoid that will be permanently open to the public, will be built in the open air as soon as a location has been found.

With a grant from the BKVB Fund Van Koolwijk developed new acoustic sound sculptures operated by computer. These were shown in 'Oerklank', a special exhibition of his work at the National Museum van Speelklok tot Pierement in Utrecht, 2002, where visitors could bathe in a jungle of sound. Recently he built Eckoo, a new musical instrument which is based on these principles. It is very flexible and fast to play on.


Together with Arie van Schutterhoef and Hans van Eck of Schreck, Laboratory for Live Electro Acoustic Music, Van Koolwijk developed alternative types of sound generation. The most successful is the BassBoxen, built with subsidies from the ThuisKopie Fund, the VSB Fund, and the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts. They have extended the BassBoxen with a pulsor to play on, so now it's a musical instrument. This is shown in Kaunas Lithuania, 2004and in Cracow 2006.

Hans van Koolwijk