Top of this document
Go directly to navigation
Go directly to page content

The Almere Collection 10

Niels Schrader, Urban Hymns (2006

In the city, sounds exist everywhere and at all times. They have a great impact on the way we experience the urban environment. However, few people perceive these sounds consciously; they are usually present as background noise. Graphic designer Niels Schrader wants to break this mechanism and draw attention to the sounds of the city with his work Urban Hymns.

For this project, which formed part of the exhibition The urban condition in 2006, Niels Schrader collaborated with the musician Tanja Keilen. They recorded sounds at seven locations in and around Almere’s new city centre by OMA / Rem Koolhaas. These included the Central Station, the Stadhuisplein (city hall square), a parking garage, the pier at the Weerwater, and inside the Popzaal concert hall. The sounds range from the conductor’s whistle to the echoing of footsteps on the street, the screeching of seagulls or the droning sound of a pile driver. The sounds were “purified” and converted to abstract black-and-white images with a computer programme, which were then printed poster size. The posters were, in turn, placed at the respective locations in the city; they reflected and visualised the surroundings. Each poster has a graphic horizon that refers to Almere’s polder landscape. Sound also points to the transformation and movement that the city has gone through.

Niels Schrader lives and works in Amsterdam. He studied graphic design at the University of Applied Arts in Düsseldorf and followed a post-graduate education at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. Over the past few years, he has worked on a number of autonomous projects. In addition, Schrader mostly designs websites, posters and publications for clients in the field of culture. He considers himself primarily a “translator” and converts existing substances to another (image) language. His greatest source of inspiration is a collaboration that makes him broaden his horizon.

Tanja Keilen studied at the Arnhem conservatory. She plays in various bands, including the lo-fi electro-punk band Sister Love that can be heard on Urban Hymns # 7. In 2005, Keilen composed the soundtrack to Schrader’s audio-visual installation White Blackout, which won him the Certificate of Typographic Excellence by the Type Directors Club of New York.

Niels Schrader, Urban Hymns
Niels Schrader, 1977, Caracas,
Tanja Keilen, 1975, Hamburg,
Urban Hymns #1- #7, 2006
Posters, sound, 7 parts
Each poster 84 x 119 cm
acquisition 2006, Museum De Paviljoens

Website Niels Schrader
Website Tanja Keilen