LIMPE FUCHS is a German sound artist and instrument builder whose vibrant performances develop from a real time engagement with the ecology of the space at hand. Using wood and granite stone rows, ringing bronze within pendulum string instruments and employing the percussion, viola and voice she studied at the Munich Conservatory she sensitises the process of hearing through an exploration of music-making as a part of everyday life.
An original member of ‘70s Krautrock duo Anima Sound, Limpe and then-husband sculptor Paul Fuchs embodied a radical form of free living, farming and building instruments like the Fuchshorn, Fuchszither and Fuchsbass at a professional metal workshop in their Pfarrhof—a thousand-year-old former priest house—in rural Bavaria. Anima Musica' epitomised the ingenious marginal freak scene of the sixties and seventies and are often cited as a key influence on Krautrock. In 1971 they hitched a handmade mobile home and stage to an old Hanomag tractor and toured Europe bringing their anarchic, uncompromising improvisations to an impromptu public at 19 kilometres per hour.
A champion of egalitarian performance, Limpe quit the group in the ‘80s when new experimental theatre work demanded agreement with more members and she felt that her voice was being compromised. Ever since she has devoted herself to “making music while listening to the streaming of time…with simplicity and emotion”, following the influence of soundscape artists.
Whether improvising solo or with other players, Limpe unfailingly coaxes an otherworldly atmosphere from the sounds and silence of her surroundings with a childlike wonder, always open to surprise. Her engaging performances require attention from the audience as she moves freely in space evoking her natural sound-scapes while playing her viola woodhorn, bamboo flute, pendulumstring, a four-meter- steel constructed lithophone, sheet metal, pieces of wood and singing in her unique ephemeral bird-like style.
We follow up the Saturday night concert with a Sunday afternoon workshop based around a sound installation of Limpe Fuchs. Limpe invites participants to play her instruments in the sound installation and they can bring their own instruments too. Only three are playing, the others are listening. When all have played in different combinations, we decide how to go on. It is important to stay simple, so that the instruments are treated with love and the skill of ones hands is not overstrained. The sound of the ensemble has to be in balance between chaos and order. When the handling of the tools and precision of listening is growing starts nonverbal communication with music.
Presented by Upset The Rhythm.