Johan Vandermaelen 2006
*1962 in Brussels (Belgium)
Lives & works in Aaigem (Belgium)
Although Johan Vandermaelen considers himself an autodidact, the workshops he attended with Hugh Davies and Hans Karsten Raecke (instrument building) in the late seventies and a two-year electronic seminar at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp (with Joris De Laet) were important to him. Since the end of the seventies he played in several improvisation ensembles, performed works by John Cage, Alvin Lucier and many others, composed music for museums and movies, participated in radio programs of The Flemish Public Radio, and recorded ’contemporary classics’ such as Black Angels from Georges Crumb (+ a live performance of this piece with the Brodsky quartet).
More recently he focussed on being a sound engineer ’Amplus’ and worked for The Festival van Vlaanderen, Happy New Ears Festival, Kunstenfestival des Arts, November Music, Octobre en Normandie, Klarafestival, Argosfestival, Champ d’Action, Stevie Wishart, QO-2, Dirk Brossé, DJ Spooky, Archie Shepp, etc.
He premiered work from Phill Niblock and Tom Johnson, among others. He often assists in the realisation of conceptual art of Belgian and international artists, such as Christoph Fink, Ilya Kabakov, Vito Acconci, Joelle Tuerlinckx, Robert Smithson, Maria Blondeel, Emilio Lopez Menchero, Marijke van Warmerdam, Suchan Kinoshita, ... as well as in museum projects (MUHKA, SMAK, Bonefanten, South London Gallery,...) and events (e.g. Brussel 2000, Brugge 2002 etc.).
As a composer, he focuses on location related projects. (Live-) Electronics have always been important in his artistic practice – solo as well as part of the live-computer duo 1km2@... (with Guy De Bièvre), the e-x-it duo with multi-instrumentalist Marco Loprieno, and ’Zoning’ laptop quartet + project on industrial zones with Aernoudt Jacobs (tmrx), Benoit Deuxant and Roland ’Anton Aeki’ Wouters (Martiens-go-home) and Frederik Dewilde (video). Recently in New York he completed a collaboration as musician and sound designer with Adrian Kelterborn (producer Magnum Photo agency).
Vandermaelen conceived in 2003 the sound work ’Music for a Green Room’ for Tilman’s spatial intervention ’F218B-BXL’ at CCNOA. A publication of this collaboration, featuring a DVD as well as a poster with images and an essay by Rene Kockelkorn in four languages was released by CCNOA in November 2004.
In 2006 Johan Vandermaelen conceived a semi-permanent audio installation ’The Thickness of Air’ in the entrance of CCNOA.
Also see www.amplus.be