30 September 2021 till 13 February 2022

William Engelen


For more than two years, the Belin-based Dutch composer-artist William Engelen (1964) has immersed himself in the Kunstmuseum’s rich collection of musical instruments, its art collection and the museum building. These elements come together in the exhibition Sounds Good in the form of a three-dimensional installation.

The installation consists of a stage, a presentation of almost eighty musical instruments from the museum’s collection, Engelen’s scores, films and – not unimportantly – the music itself. Engelen has written seven new compositions specially for this exhibition. Like many of his pieces, these compositions are site-specific, which means that they can be performed only in the Kunstmuseum. The audio recordings and films of the performance of these compositions are a prominent part of the installation.

Live performances
Kunstmuseum Den Haag has invited Engelen to create seven new site-specific compositions. Several compositions will be performed live in the museum.

Live performances on 12 December 2021
Wind Quartet no. 4
Traces of Use
In the Corridors
String Quartet

Performed by students of the Ensemble of the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.
Read more.

Live performance on 23 January 2022 from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Elapsing
Performed by students of the Institute of Sonology, The Hague.
Read more.

About William Engelen
As an artist-composer, Engelen integrates art into music and music into art. Existing at the intersection of these disciplines, his work contains both sonic and visual elements. For almost thirty years, Engelen has been composing images and sound for museums and galleries, but also for places that have nothing to do with the worlds of art or music. In his compositions, Engelen employs a variety of media to create new, unconventional forms of notation, such as folded sheet music on music stands, which are presented as autonomous works of art in the exhibition. The starting point for Sounds Good is the museum’s rich collection of musical instruments, creating an exciting marriage between this historical cultural heritage and Engelen’s contemporary music and art of. Moreover, Engelen’s multimedia approach places the collection in a broader museological context.

The exhibition Sounds Good has been realised in partnership with the Ensemble of the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, the Institute of Sonology, The Hague, and Slagwerk Den Haag.

The exhibition Sounds Good has been made possible by the The Performing Arts Fund NL and Mondriaan Fund.