Article in Gonzo (circus) Magazine
Below you can read the alternate, untranslated version of this Dutch article. Including some (very flattering) extra bits by Eli Gras that have been edited out before publication. If you want to read the full Dutch article as it was published, I recommend you buy the magazine. Or subscribe to it, even better.
Eli Gras (Barcelona, 1971) about her residency in De Perifeer in Havenkwartier Deventer, her newborn baby instrument, her live performance and a special future release.
“My name is Eli Gras, I’m a cultural manager and musician. But mainly I’m an improviser, working as visual-sound artist and experimental luthier. I enjoy designing and building my own instruments in order to use the on stage. I’m a lucky person, because I just finished a residency in Deventer, kindly invited by the lovely promotor and artist Harco Rutgers, who runs mini-venue De Perifeer, as well as record label Esc.rec. I had the opportunity to work there for several fantastic days on an especially exciting project: a 360º art-release.”
“Let me explain a bit about the project, to make clear why this was so exciting to me… The challenge was to design and build a new instrument in a few days, which would double as the packaging of a very limited vinyl release (of 1), that will contain the sounds of the same instrument, recorded at the end-of-residence concert. This unique soundobject will be released by Esc.rec. in 2016, in the new ‘Sediment’ series. For me this is a really unique occasion to combine several facets of my work in one piece of art: designer, inventor, musician, performer, handcrafter.
It was an adventure for the both of us, sort of a little marathon. Evaluating sketches I had made on tour. Deciding on a final idea and method, by visiting a big part of the Deventer shops and hardware stores. And subsequently using the found materials to create the instrument. The ingredients to cook up my ‘floating bridge harp’ were: a salad bowl, a basin filter, 5mm allen and 3mm straight screws and nuts, 0,25 iron wire, 1 piezo-electric microphone and it’s connector, some details… and an assortment of basic tools.
I’ve had several other experiences as artist-in-residence, building some installations and instruments, mostly centered around the concept of recycled art. But my residence in De Perifeer was a fantastic and condensed way to be immersed in the soul of a unique cultural entity who understood and respected my mentality as an artist perfectly. Quite exceptional!”
“De Perifeer is situated in the atelier of Harco Rutgers in Havenkwartier Deventer. During my stay here I was the very first guest to sleep in a special one room hotel, the Lucy Nomad. This architectural masterpiece is located just 100 meters from De Perifeer.”