Block Beuys - Raum 2


for 21 instrumentalists with continuum (1995-96)
18 minutes | no.17

Block Beuys - Raum 2 is dedicated to the second room of the Darmstadt collection. Unlike Raum 1 the ensemble music in Raum 2 is completely fixed in time and tempo, whereas the continuum differs from performance to performance. The continuum, a softly humming positive organ, is 'performed' by the first pianist, placing weights on the keyboard or removing them. There is a maximum of 14 weights on the organ, a minimum of one.

Block Beuys - Raum 2 uses the same instruments as Raum 1, complemented with 7 woodwinds and 3 trumpets. Analogous to the work of Joseph Beuys the music of Raum 1 is calm, void, deserted. None of this in Raum 2. The second room (96 m2) houses some 33 objects, all extremely different in nature and quality: large tables wrapped in copper, a wooden cupboard containing an estimated 150 smaller objects, dozens of lengths of felt piled up and covered with copper plates, walking sticks, geometrical studies, etcetera, etcetera. Hence, the music of Raum 2 has many faces and is in a constant state of flux.

Due to the vast number of visual (musical) objects, the view (hearing) of the walls, the ceiling and the floor (the continuum) is often considerably limited if not totally obscured; this contrary to Raum 1 in which the actual space suggests a stronger presence than the objects displayed.

photo: Block Beuys, Raum 2 (Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt, 1990) by Claudio Abate



2 flutes (both also piccolo), oboe, clarinet, 2 bass clarinets, (double) bassoon
2 trumpets, bass trumpet
percussion 1, percussion 2
piano 1, piano 2
2 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, double bass

commissioned by

Holland Festival

written for

Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt, Germany)

dedicated to

Jan van Vlijmen


15 June 1996
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Ensemble Modern
Hans Zender (conductor)


Audio Fragments


Ives Ensemble


4 May 2000, Maria Minor, Utrecht (Netherlands)
by Eclat Music Productions

Block Beuys - Raum 2

excerpt 1

Block Beuys - Raum 2

excerpt 2

Block Beuys - Raum 2

complete work

Score Excerpts

CD Recording