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What you can’t say, you just have to sing 
Yodeling workshop with Olivia Koland 

Workshop 

Dirk Bell, O.T. (visually silent) (detail), 2012 – 2022

Mixed media on nettle, bell, ladder, 4 loudspeakers, 8‑channel audio data, 5:30 min., in collaboration with Filip Caranica / Contemporary Sound, photo: Roman März, Berlin, Courtesy BQ, Berlin

Customs, craft traditions and various cultural techniques appear again and again in the collaborative works of Isabel Lewis and Dirk Bell — whether it’s fermenting vegetables together, the interweaving of sound art with the preparation of soup, tea ceremonies, making music or, as in their exhibition Ever/​Repair and the performance Total Romance: Every Repair, the carnival custom of Junkanoo, which is mainly found in the Caribbean and North America.

The two artists are interested in all these various forms essentially because of two motifs: they bring people together, and they are a form of communication. This is also where their relationship with yodeling lies, which is why the artists have arranged an event exploring it. Although the practice is native to the Alpine region, numerous similar forms of song featuring meaningless syllables or singing which alternates between chest and head voice can be found all over the world. Historically, the purpose of this singing is probably derived from the fact that a kind of signaling device was needed to communicate across complex landscapes in mountain regions. A musical tradition can also be assumed. In Styria, the practice is commonly refered to as Ludler. During the event, a short piece of music will be performed and practical instructions will be given on how to yodel.

Artists

Participating artists

Olivia Koland

*1979, lives in Graz

Olivia Koland is a climate coordinator. As a doctor of social and economic sciences from the University of Graz, she is concerned with climate and environmental economics and has worked as a researcher at numerous institutes. In addition to her scientific work in the research field of climate change and sustainability, she is a yodeler and combines sport and singing on her alpine tours. In both areas she is, as she says herself, interested in communication and why change can be a good thing”. She has been yodeling for 15 years now and has been giving yodeling courses for 10 years to keep this tradition alive.

Dirk Bell, O.T. (visually silent) (detail), 2012 – 2022

Mixed media on nettle, bell, ladder, 4 loudspeakers, 8‑channel audio data, 5:30 min., in collaboration with Filip Caranica / Contemporary Sound, photo: Roman März, Berlin, Courtesy BQ, Berlin