Phill Niblock presenting “The movement of people working” in Berlin
Phill Niblock, “The movement of people working”
24 hours film-video-sound for the 90th birthday of Phill Niblock
21./22.10.2023, Betonhalle Silent Green; Photos, courtesy of Udo Siegfriedt
“The Movement of People Working by Phill Niblock is a huge cinematic-musical monument. More than 25 hours of film, shot since 1973, initially on 16 mm colour film, later with video and digital technology in Peru, Mexico, Hungary, Hong Kong, Brazil, Lesotho, Portugal, China and Japan, on Sumatra and in the Arctic.
Films that show nothing more than manual labour. Documentary, extremely minimalist editing, Niblock presents people in their daily activities and tasks. Hammering, sawing, grinding, harvesting, dyeing, fishing, and much more – work in its most elementary form. Phill Niblock’s minimalist and monumental compositions with their slowly unfolding microtonal drones belong to this film material. Multiple layers of sound material create a continuum of sonic movement and pulsations with an extremely dense texture.
These films include compositions by Phill Niblock. With their slowly unfolding microtonal drones created by multiple layers of sound material, they are – like the films – extremely minimalist. A continuum of sonic movement and pulsations with a dense inner texture. Music and films can be freely combined. Niblock is concerned with a free interplay of film and music that leads to ever new juxtapositions of image and sound. The method of performance is also variable. Spatial-installative settings are just as possible as performative installations and live acts.
For Phill Niblock’s 90th birthday, the piece is now being presented in a special form – a 24-hour film-video-sound installation in which Niblock’s films run in a loop on eight large video screens on the walls of Betonhalle. This is accompanied by Niblock’s permanent compositions, complemented by live performances. The programme includes works from Niblock’s most diverse creative periods. Musicians from the Berlin scene who have been playing his music for years have been invited to perform. Most of the works on the programme were composed especially for them.”
(Quoted from Silent Green Website).