Eck, Cathy van

is a composer, sound artist and researcher in the arts. In her work, she focuses on composing relationships between everyday objects, human performers, and sound. Her artistic activities include performances with live electronics and installations with sound objects, which she often designs herself. She is interested in incorporating her gestures into unusual and surprising relationships with sounds, mainly by electronic means. The result could be described as performative sound art, because it combines elements from performance art, electronic music, and visual arts. Van Eck’s work transcends genres and is presented at occasions as diverse as experimental or electronic music concerts, open-air rock concerts, events at art galleries, digital art events, or performance art festivals. 

In developing her ideas, Cathy van Eck collaborates closely with performers and often works in interdisciplinary fields, liaising regularly with theatre directors and choreographers. Her projects are shown at festivals and venues all over the world, including the NYCEMF New York, Chronus Art Gallery in Shanghai, BONE Performance Art Festival in Bern, Klangwerkstatt in Berlin, Hapzura Digital Art Festival, Avantgarde Schwaz, Éclat Festival in Stuttgart, SPARK in Minneapolis, STEIM in Amsterdam as well as November Music, Spaziomusica Cagliari, and the Munich Biennale. 

Cathy van Eck is a lecturer at the Sound Arts Department, University of the Arts in Bern. She is a regular guest lecturer at other art and music universities. In her book Between Air and Electricity, published in 2017, she examines the use of microphones and loudspeakers as musical instruments. 

Selected works: Oefening in stilzwijgend zingen for three dancers, portable horn loudspeakers and electronics (2005), Hearing Sirens for portable horn loudspeakers and electronics (2007), groene ruis for small box tree, hairdryer and live electronics (2007), dazwischen for three loudspeakers, three performers with contact microphones and live electronics (2007), Luftschlösser im Bau for ten musicians, seven castles-in-the-air structures and electronics (2007), Wings for white panels, three microphones, loudspeaker and three performers (2007–8), in blik for tin can towers and electronics (2008), Mit Lu gebaut – Musik aus der Dose for castles in the air, tin can towers, loudspeakers and three performers, to be performed in a sound installation by a guitarist and two singers (2008), Im freien for recorder, duduk, organ pipe and electronics (2008), hout en snaren for violin, loudspeaker and live electronics (2008), Ein Oktett für das Quartett for eight loudspeakers and four performers (2009), Song no. 3 for performer, gestures, loudspeaker, microphone and live electronics (2010), When the sound of your voice slips through my fingers for five singers, gestures, small microphones and loudspeakers, and live electronics (2010), Music for the video Mandala Boogie Woogie for six-channel electronics (2010), Herbst, text composition (2011), Pièce d’ameublement for performer, grand piano, plants, several objects and live electronics (2011), Stumme Diener, performance for music stands, loudspeakers, microphones and live electronics (with Susanne Zapf, featuring pieces by Jakob Diehl and Wael Sami, 2011), Music Stands for one or more performers, music stands, small loudspeakers, contact microphones and live electronics (2011), Geluid gemeten: no 23 & no 32, sound installation for several pieces of paper, two loudspeakers, box and electronics (2012), Ways and Means for five singers, gestures, small microphones and loudspeakers, and live electronics (2012), Klangverordnung – Die verbotene Klänge der Stadt Bern Version I (inside in the archive) for three boxes, three light sensors, three loudspeakers and noise regulation laws of the city of Bern since the 17th century (2012), Klangverordnung – forbidden sounds in the city for one performer, two big orange horn loudspeakers and forbidden noises of the city of Bern (2012), Double Beat for pregnant woman, plastic bags, breath, two heartbeats and live electronics (2013), Square Head for performer, box, two small loudspeakers and one audience member (2013), Extended Ears, performative actions for audience and mechanical, electric and digital ear extensions (2013), 412 Meter Laufen for four walking performers, eight small foot loudspeakers and electronics (2014), Breeze, interactive sound installation for five music stands, thin paper, small fans, live electronics and moving audience (2015), Backoffice for three performers, gestures, sensors, live electronics, video and group of bankers (2015), Cheerers and Leaders for one performer, gestures, cheers and live electronics (2016), Für Kopfhörende, performative installation for performer with interactive headphones and audience with passive headphones (2016), Phone Call to Hades – Passages to Another World for three singers, portable loudspeakers and electronics (2016), Cheering for others makes you a leader for performer, metallic cheerleader pom poms, sensors and live electronics (2016), Erster Versuch den Wind zu drehen, interactive sound installation for anemometer, fans, sound and breath or wind (2017), De Beweging for six demonstrators, interactive sound, aluminium foil and tactile transducers (2017), Silver Breath for three performers, interactive sound, aluminium foil, microphones and tactile transducers (2018), Empty Chairs for three chairs, sensors, live electronics and one performer (2018), In Paradisum for apple, contact microphones, live electronics and one performer (2019).