"Heimat & Antarktis" (1993) is a composition with electronic sounds, recorded noises and spoken words - performed live with tape machines and synthesizers - later developed into a video with the original sound from the CD "Heimat & Antarktis".
"Heimat & Antarktis" (i.e. "Home & Antarctica")is a sound-play consisting of electronic sounds, recorded noises, interview-voices and radio-clippings. Little and big stories at the borderline between the immediate vicinity and the greatest distance are tied together to form a fascinating flow of acoustic impressions.
Pictures from historical industry and mining photographies in the booklet accompany the stream of voices and sounds like a melancholy undertone: what happens?
Well, there is the empress, the ill child, an aeroplane in the snow, seven girls and of course the end of the world ...
Over many years Frank Niehusmann has recorded and filed a great variety of voices, sounds and environmental noises. Most of the recordings of this work were made somewhere in the Ruhr-Area, but have been isolated from their original contexts for this work. Noises and voices, which actually are very familiar to us ("Heimat" - "Home"), suddenly strike us as being utterly strange, unsual and distant ("Antarktis" - "Antarctica"), because they have been isolated from the known context.
With this combination of electronic music and sound-collage, Frank Niehusmann has created a unique symphonic sound-opus: a sound-play. The texts (nearly all in german) are original sounds of living or historic, anonymous or prominent persons. Frank Niehusmann shows the unknown in the known, the far in the close, the "Antarctica" in the "Home" and "Home" as "Antarctica".
In 1995 the acoustic work "Heimat & Antarktis" has been developed into a sound- and picture-composition. About 380 slides have been animated as a fluid series of pictures, and were then - together with the soundtrack - published as a video (VHS-PAL, 45 min., stereo-sound). Most of the photos are historic industry-photos from the collection of photos of the "Deutsches Bergbau-Archiv in Bochum" (German Mining Industry Archive in Bochum). Impressive coloured views of powerful industrial ruins, people living in this industrial area, machines and bizzare horizons - accompanied by that thunderous sound-track: a sweep of sounds and pictures like a low-altitude-flight over the industrial Ruhr-area: "Home" and "Antarctica" ...
Press-Reviews about the CD HEIMAT & ANTARKTIS:
Sounds from Home and the Antarctica
Pounding drum-rythms and scraps of conversation, machine-noises, ... On the borderline between radio-play and sound-collage ...
(GW in: Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Essen/Gerrmany, 17.11.1994)
At the South Pole
With "Heimat & Antarktis" Frank Niehusmann has created an opus, that has no equal in the advantgarde of music.
(TM/D.W./TS in: Coolibri, Bochum/Germany, November 1994)
The miner's world of labour ...
... landscapes and sound-collage - gaps and bridges in one's imagination ... often bizarre effects ...
(Petra Riederer-Sitte in: Rheinische Post, Moers/Germany, 7.3.1995)
Where is Home, where is Antarctica?
... an uneasy suspense is built up ... and every pit, that is driven into the depth, is appaling and thrilling at the same time. The end of the world, that's what Antarctica is, but it is also here where we are: on the wasteland of closed mines, in the inner cities. -
(Achim Prossek, in: Foyer, Essen/Germany, Dezember 1994)
Press-Reviews about the video HEIMAT & ANTARKTIS:
My home, Antarctica
Music-Film by Frank Niehusmann
Associations, intensified by film-pictures, decompose "Home" as a known and comprehensable element. What do the people talk about? ... The answer: You've come too close to see clearly anymore ... again the artistic work turns out to be singular, seems to be abstract. However this opus is the evidence of a deep understanding, conveyed from the darkness and depth by the art of such sounds and pictures ... In other words: nowhere else "tristesse" is painted in such marvellous colours ...
(in: Festival-Magazine of the World Music Days 1995)
A breath-taking flood of pictures
Film presents the Ruhr-area
Pictures of men, houses and landscapes overlap on the screen in a confusing way. Frank Niehusmann presents unusal prospects with his music ... when an off-voice talks about the ice in the Antarctica, the beholder feels more at home there than in the pictures of the familiar environement. Exactly this discrepancy between sounds and pictures evokes the suggestive effect.
(Jens Reinhardt in: Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Essen/Germany, 6.12.1994)
World Music Days 1995
- Heimat & Antarktis -
The film "Heimat & Antarktis" is based on the book of plates and CD of the same name ... the impression of motion is given by the quick fading of motives. Motorway signs localize the cross-section of the Ruhr-Area. Scraps of conversation from the Ruhr-Area suggest stories. Electronic sounds correspond with black-and-white pictures of the past: Children in a sterile doctor's surgery, miners with gas masks and again and again monuments of transitoriness, gravestones, closed coal-pits ... Exactly this discrepancy between sounds and pictures evokes the suggestive effect.
(in: Programme-Magazine of "Essener Filmkunsttheater", Essen/Germany 1995).