Hester Reeve

Of Sound In The Landing Page


Output: Performance

The performance work, Of Sound in the Landing Page, was a re-articulation of ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ as a soundscape created from the various elements of the natural world that Nietzsche weaved into his text. The piece worked to allow ‘matter,’ as opposed to words, to ‘express’ the ‘abstract force’ of the book’s ideas whilst also honouring the philosopher’s conviction that music is the highest form of philosophy.

Reeve produced a ‘foley’ score and gained expert advice from an industry specialist, Jack Stew, in using everyday objects to simulate sounds of nature held within Nietzsche’s pages; in cinema, audiences will not ‘believe’ a film unless the sound is ‘faked’ and this paradox of the right sounds being made with the wrong objects was key in the choice of methodology for the performance (an insinuation of Nietzsche’s valorisation of what he termed ‘untruth’). Reeve trained and conducted two professors of philosophy, Graham Parkes and Georg Stenger, to work before an audience with their hands and a clutter of domestic objects to perform the score. Also contributing were electronic composer Wolfgang Mitterer, who created a spatial sound to evoke all references to the spinning wheel of the eternal return (activated on stage by Reeve’s turning a replica of Duchamp’s first ready-made, Bicycle Wheel, 1913), and trumpeter Franz Hautsinger who simulated Nietzsche’s references to animal noises.

Of Sound’ was performed at ‘Philosophy on Stage 4 –The Artist-Philosopher’ held at Halle G, Vienna, the climax of an international project ‘Artist-philosophers/philosophy as arts-based research.’ In a lead-up event, The Nietzsche Lab, Reeve presented a performance-lecture “Nietzsche Salutes HRH.the” which enquired after a practice of philosophy registered through bodily existence, i.e. an artful philosophy.

Research Output

Of Sound in The BOOSTED sound, Hester Reeve

This project contains further videos that can accessed via the full case study below.

This collection of images displays the outputs from this project. Find out more details in the full case study below.

Research Method

"Philosophy on stage…is an attempt to actually experiment with new forms of cross-disciplinary strategies by way of which new alliances between art and philosophy are conceptually and artistically staged in performances, lecture-performances, interventions etc., to keep Nietzsche’s promise of a productive friendship between art and philosophy alive…"

Key Methodologies:

Full Project Output

REF '21

To learn more about the output, methods and dissemination of this work, explore the full project submission.

Other Projects By

Hester Reeve