A photographical survey of ten musical parades walking the entire Belgian coast from the French-Belgian border in De Panne to the Belgian-Dutch border of Knokke

Summer 2021

In a line, someone whispers a message into the next person's ear. He or she whispers it to the next person, until the end is reached. The last player announces the final communication, usually a message that causes hilarity (or confusion) since it is thoroughly distorted due to a series of misunderstandings in the chain. This play - in the U.S. called “Telephone” and in the U.K. "Chinese Whispers" - inspired artist and composer Ari Benjamin Meyers to conceive of a music-based durational performance that will be realized in collaboration with famed Flemish fanfare combo Die Verdammte Spielerei and local music groups from each of the ten municipalities along the Belgian coast.

Die Verdammte Spielerei will guide Meyers' original composition, walking the entire coast from the French-Belgian border in De Panne to the Belgian-Dutch border of Knokke over ten musical parades spread throughout the summer of 2021. They will be accompanied each time by a local group of musicians that have made their own adaptations of the piece. At each “border” there is an exchange between groups, an open rehearsal, and the new piece is played together in a parade from their own city hall, carrying the new work to the city hall of the next municipality where it will undergo its further mutation. This performance will repeat itself ten times, until the work reaches its finale on the Dutch border in Knokke-Heist.

Documenting the parades was a challenging work whereby I had to keep in mind all the ceremonial actions of the project. 10 parades in 10 cities. A survey of the whole, drawing attention to the core of the project. I am left with far more than 100 pictures showing the Belgian coast, the horizon, the sea and the marching harmonie...