Marc van der Heijde
A PIECE OF SOUND ADVICE + A SINGLE WARNING TO A DESIGN STUDENT
Search for your personal quality, the strength that defines you – and develop that further + No tutor knows the answer
FAVOURITE FOOD THEN
YOUR MOST VALUED POSSESSION THEN
A German Perzina piano from the 1920s
YEAR OF PROJECT
STUDENT PROJECT BRIEF
Self-initiated project: six images for three classical music pieces. On the following spread is sketch material for one of the six images only; a design to fit a Renaissance piece called Spem In Alium by Thomas Tallis. It is a very particular piece, composed for 40 singers without accompani ment. At places, all 40 singers simultaneously have their own part; texts are interwoven at the cost of audibility to form something extremely complex and beautiful.
Academy of Art and Design St. Joost, Breda (The Netherlands)
Team of tutors, among them Henk Cornelissen, Hartmut Kowalke and Jaap van Triest
Staged photography, no use of the computer
WHY DO YOU LIKE THIS PROJECT?
I have selected one of the sketches for Spem In Alium, because I find it more interesting than the final piece. I didn’t crop or manipulate it; it shows the honest set-up, which I like. In the end, the design used limited elements; text in colour foil, two light sources and a camera. But the way they come together visualizes to my mind exactly the aural essence of the piece as I heard it.
WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE ABOUT IT?
Looking back, I dislike some of the images because they just feel too random. Although not a necessity, I now think it could have been interesting to make them into more of a collection; that the images dealing with music from various periods still share something, or make a collection. Logically, I now see many more possibilities than back then.
Another six months at the academy to try something else!
I can’t remember any particular reactions from that time, but I am sure my mother liked them.
PROJECT SIMILARITIES THEN AND NOW
It was Eric Gill who said: ‘I think that if you look after goodness and truth, beauty will take care of itself.’ I like the idea of a restraint on elements, interesting enough for the process to lead to strong images that feel right. The truth in both projects is the fact that you take the essence of a piece (interwoven texts) or an organization (singing texts) and stay close to it. Although ‘right’ seems to be a subjective connotation, the reception of the Dutch Chamber Choir’s identity validates the approach. The challenge is to get your client to recognize himself – but in a way that surprises him and others.