"ROLF JULIUS was the archetypal “sound artist“. He painted with sound, he colored with pitch, and his work demands the attention and open-mindedness of those who embrace modern art. He collected found sounds, and mixed them with prerecorded single tone notes which were then, electronically modified and filtered through tiny loudspeakers, transformed into music. Depending on the surface texture where the loudspeaker has been placed - wall, floor or outdoors - these objects resonate and “breathe“ sound. His music is a mixture of all these sounds; a carefully calculated and conceived creation. He sculpted sound to define space, creating a musical environment where subtle changes occur.
JULIUS was born in Wilhelmshaven, West Germany, in 1939 and died in Berlin in 2011. He studied visual arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin where his first installations involved the use of photographs. Later, after being inspired by the work of John Cage, and more directly European contemporary music (eg: classical, electronic and jazz), JULIUS became increasingly interested in environmental acoustics and sound textures. He attempted to fuse space with sound by combining pulsating textures with the room’s acoustics, similar to the work of David Behrman, Alvin Lucier and David Tudor. JULIUS’ environments also contain a visual element, where the observer / participant is able to enter and leave the musical environment as one chooses.
JULIUS exhibited his pieces throughout Europe and the United States. Paradoxically he is internationally recognized as a visual artist, but considered himself a musician. His work embodies the truest elements of “sound art“, having the ability to create images with sound.“ (from the liner-notes by Brooke Wentz)
Language: English / German