Marcus Schmickler
Studio Piethopraxis

Could You Patent The Sun?

Could You Patent The Sun? is a long distance-composition lasting approximately 20 minutes. Despite the relaxation of pandemic-related restrictions on public gatherings in Germany since May 2020, open-air formats remain the primary avenue for live concert attendance outside of private venues. This production serves as a prelude to Schmickler's larger work, "Entwurf einer Rheinlandschaft," currently in development for the Monheim-Triennalle 2021.

Could you Patent the Sun? manifests as a multimodal sound production wherein the theme of proximity and distance is explored. Four brass players stationed on the roof of the K714 Factory hall in Monheim engage with (electronic) sounds emanating from a distance, situated on the opposite bank of the Rhine. Concurrently, attendees have the opportunity to access various web streams offering complementary content and contribute their sound from the Rhine promenade, dispersing it throughout the city.

The libretto for this production draws inspiration from the renowned response of American immunologist Jonas Salk, the pioneering figure behind the development of the polio vaccine in the 1950s, when queried about patenting his breakthrough. Salk's memorable rejoinder, "There is no patent. Could you patent the Sun?", underscores the notion that collective endeavors for global welfare transcend individual ownership. This sentiment is particularly pertinent for Monheim, given its concentration of biotech firms, serving as a poignant reminder of humanity's shared responsibilities in advancing scientific progress."

Brass quartet, Computer, Remote-Musician(s)

Christine Champan - Horn
Marco Blauuw - Trumpet
Bruce Collings - Trombone
Melvyn Poore - Euphonium
Janneke van der Putten - Voice
Marcus Schmickler - Computer
Amplified Brass quartet,
LRAD Loudspeaker
Mono PA

Premiere: 2020/07/01
Comissoned by:  Monheim Triennale