niklas zimmer – here, now (2004)

Listen (streaming audio): Niklas Zimmer – Here, Now

Music is the most abstract language humans have developed. In essence it is a revolutionary language, continually erasing and rewriting its own code. I wanted to contribute a sense of peace, to see and hear with the heart. I recorded a large variety of metal percussion instruments, including Tibetan gongs and prayer bowls, cymbals, sound sticks, discs and a toy vibraphone. The piece, although initially produced for a specific sound installation, can also be used for meditation and relaxation.

Logging in Chinese occupied Tibet has left many forest regions stripped to the bone. Present day agricultural policies and global climatic change compound the problem. Once lush areas have transformed to creeping sand dunes and waterlogged moors. One million square miles of rainforest in Tibet have emerged as a man-made desert. Tibet’s forest is located at the upper reaches of ten major rivers flowing into south and southeast Asia and, consequently, the destruction of forest in the head- watersheds means the contamination and even drying up of these rivers.

This recording was made for the installation of Helen Meyer Harrison and Newton Harrison’s project proposal “Tibet is the High Ground” as part of a series of lectures, concerts and performances entitled “Good Gut Friedrichstein” in 2004. The organising curatorial group “Survival Aesthetics” invited the Harrisons to present aspects of their extensive body of eco-political artworks as the focus of these events.

Many thanks to Manfred Langlotz for commissioning the installation at Gut Friedrichstein, and to the Harrisons for their inspiring enthusiasm and encouragement.

~ Niklas Zimmer (from the sleeve of Here, Now.)

Niklas Zimmer’s ‘Here, Now’ (2004)… here and now (2012).

“If our generation exploits everything available – the trees, the water, or the minerals – without any care for the coming generations and the future, then we are at fault, aren’t we? But if we have a genuine sense of universal responsibility as our central motivation, then our relating to the environment will be well balanced. It is my hope and dream that the entire Tibetan Plateau will someday be transformed into a true peace sanctuary: an entirely demilitarised area and the world’s largest national park or biosphere.”

~ The Dalai Lama


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