sound & music





Too Close to Return
This soundscape by Karel von Kleist is loosely based on the hermetic teachings of George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, whose ideas profoundly influenced Von Kleist (and many others).

Central theme is the mechanical nature of all human activity, with its built-in flaws. The 'robot with the iron eyelids' (me, you) cannot act consistently or be fully aware because it is composed of many different egos struggling for dominance within the human psyche.

A mountain needs to be scaled. When the summit has been attained, after a long and winding journey the traveller is  'Too Close to Return' ... after reaching the unthinkable, there is no way back.

'Too Close to Return' is designed as a ballet score. It is not a vehicle for human emotions, more like a landscape that can be 'seen' with the inner ear …

Working method
It took seven years to compose this soundscape. Von Kleist worked extensively with sculptors, blacksmiths, painters, engineers and musicians. A wide range of materials (metal, glass, wood, instruments, objects) was treated in unexpected ways, always with plenty of room for the imagination.

There are ten distinctive parts:

 1. The shiny building
 2. Spring-cleaning
 3. Letter to the machine
 4. Flesh in the making
 5. A living process
 6. The meeting
 7. An unexpected answer
 8. Einstein's breakfast
 9. Tunnel of light
10. The mountain too close


Patrick Byrne - metals
Joep Vossen - treatments, percussion, piano
Jeroen Kramer - percussion, treatments
Emmanuel Lorsch - vibraphones
Jos de Vooght - judo mattresses
Jonathan Mechanicus - engineering, percussion
Moze Jacobs - saxophones
Frank van Berkel - double bass
Thijs de Melker - electric bass
Rokus Groenendijk - samples
Darryll Aller, Hans van der Sijpp, Paul-Jan van de Windt, Chris and Rewi - sound mix
Karel von Kleist - composition and production

Suggestions for a performance