concert installation (UA 2000) - circa 15-20 min.



Burkhard Beins performs POR
at Muong Studio, Hoa Binh/Vietnam 2015

Burkhard Beins performs POR
at Quiet Cue, Berlin 2013

Several medium-sized elements of polystyrene become installed in various places of the concert room; ideally also in some adjoining rooms if they are openly connected to the concert room. Long pieces of string attached to these elements become taut, gathered and fixed in a certain point of the room. In front of this point, inbetween the taut strings stands the performer, who produces a variety of hiss and other sounds by rubbing, scratching and scraping the strings with alternating pressure, tempo and rhythm. In certain moments these strings become also played by modified electric propellers producing layers of constant drones. Additionally to the elements fixed on the walls, there are also one or more movable blocks spread out on the floor, loose pieces of string attached to them.
All these sounds become amplified by the polystyrene blocks, which are utilized as resonators. Dynamics, volume, intensity and rhythm can be varied by altering the pressure and tempo exerted to the strings. Analogously to a multi-channel diffusion of electro-acoustic music through mutiple speakers spread out in the room, the sounds in POR, which are of an almost electronic nature, become projected into the room by the polystyrene resonators without using any additional amplification.

So far POR has been installed and performed by Burkhard Beins in Berlin (UA 2000, 2003, 2006, 2012, 2013), London, Milano (both 2005), Palermo (2006), Brussels (2008), Densités Festival/France (2009) and at Muong Studio, Hoa Binh/Vietnam (2015).

An entirely installational version of POR, entitled SEKANTE, has seen it's first presentation in November 2007 at Berlin's Ausland. In the beginning of May 2008 a second presentation took place at QO-2 Werkhuis in Brussels including a performance of POR as part of the vernissage. Another presentation took place in 2013 together with POR and the new sound installation Modulation I at Quiet Cue, Berlin.

Review of POR performance at Densités Festival 2009:

Sonic inventiveness extends to a spatial installation, as Berlin's Burkhard Beins demonstrates Sunday afternoon in the foyer of the village's ornate city hall. Plastic string was linked to Styrofoam boxes mounted on the walls at different angles, another box filled with flashlight batteries on the ground. Beins conjures alchemist-like unmistakable percussion and string timbres from the set up. By stroking, plucking, pulling and twisting the strings the contrapuntal results include extended textures along with designated tones. Resembling a marionette when his hands are simultaneously attached to more than one string, Beins is no puppet but in complete control. Highpoint of the performance is when he uses a sanding motion to rub together two Styrofoam boxes, about the size of transistor radios, to create first a low-pitched buzz for a few measures, then by moving them along the strings, cello-like sustained textures.
- Ken Waxman, MusicWorks -