4 Grand Piano Pavilion, Dré Wapenaar

5 - 14 August 2005

theatre festival Boulevard, Den Bosch

Dré Wapenaar designed the 4GPP: 4 Grand Piano Pavilion specially for the composer Simeon ten Holt whose music has a strong spatial effect. For the Boulevard theatre festival in Den Bosch, 5-14 August 2004, Wapenaar’s mobile 4 Grand Piano Pavilion was erected in the Bossche Broek. Here Michiel Borstlap, Ramón Valle and others performed Ten Holt’s music.

Ten Holt’s music has been performed in concert halls as well as in churches, parks and once even in the hall of a railway station. Now for the first time a space has been specially designed for the music, one that represents a combination of elements: the spatiality of a concert hall like Vredenburg, the openness of a park, the silence of a church and the continual bustle of a station. The tent is a sculptural translation of Ten Holt’s music, as it were. Moreover, the tent is mobile and meant to function in different places.

Concerts generally require sitting quietly in a space for two hours or more. During concerts in Wapenaar’s tent the public, amounting to around 200 persons, can sit and stand, walk around, go outside or have a drink, and all this time Ten Holt’s music can be heard, even in the toilets. In addition to this dynamic quality, the position of the public in relation to the pianists is also exceptional. The grand pianos stand in the corners of the pavilion and the audience sits in the middle. The pianists see each other’s heads projected onto circular screens above them so they can see each other and communicate better. The projections are also visible from outside. The pianists’ emotion is thus enlarged and made visible to all, so that the tension of the piece unfolds above the audience’s heads.

Besides a homage to Ten Holt’s music, the tent is also a comment on conventional performances where the audience often appears not to be involved in the piece itself, being only allowed to listen in at a distance. Wapenaar feels that a public performance should be aimed at the audience. Although the programme revolves around Ten Holt’s compositions for piano, there is also room for other types of performances such as percussion, song and sound projects. Educational activities like workshops, masterclasses or a programme for young children can also take place in the tent.