05/19/2019 to 07/14/2019

William Engelen is both, a visual artist and composer. In his work, he combines visual media and sound. On invitation of the Kunsthalle Mannheim the native Dutchman developed a site-specific work in order to bring off the acoustic quality of the architecture of the new museum building. His composition “Score 32 bpm for the Kunsthalle Mannheim” is going to be performed for the first time by eight musicians of the Mannheimer Schlagwerk (students of the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts), each with nine percussion instruments, under the direction of professor Dennis Kuhn.

Curator: Dr. Sebastian Baden

The exhibition is supported by


32 bpm – A score for the Kunsthalle

The composition created for the Kunsthalle Mannheim with 32 bpm (beats per minute) provides the basis of an ensemble piece in which each musician performs as a soloist navigating through the score. The piece is notated on a grid of 32 columns and 32 lines. 1,024 different dots in white, black, and grey hues which serve as accent and orientation. For a period of 50 minutes, the musicians individually seek their way through the  pattern, while all striking their percussion instruments to the same beat. The instruments are: timpani, gong, triangle, crotales, bongo, woodblock, mokusho, tubular bell, and reyong. The music is performed on site as a sound sculpture in the architecture of the museum. The audience experiences a walkable concert and can listen to the music on all three levels through the open atrium in the center of the museum.

Engelen in the BOX #4

After the world premiere museum visitors can experience the music by Engelen as a video and sound installation from May 19 through July 14 in the BOX, where the scores of the new composition will also be presented.


William Engelen – Life and Work

William Engelen (born in 1964) studied at the Stadsakademie voor toegepaste Kunsten and the Jan van Eyck Akademie in Maastricht, Netherlands. He is renowned for his experimental and research-based compositions that are outstanding in formal and thematic terms. His work vacillates between music, visual art, happening, sound installation, and performance, with his site-specific pieces establishing a special relationship between space and sound. The compositions are presented as graphic works and performed by musicians – where the improvisation of the art is very important.   

Further exhibitions