(2021 Wolfgang Voss) German, Paperback/Taschenbuch, 164 pages, 22,1,cm x 17,1cm x 1,6 cm
In this book, musician Wolfgang Voss presents his unique collection of washboards, which he has gathered around the globe. 175 exhibits from 30 countries and three centuries show the history of a household object that still attracts the greatest attention in the 21st century.
Of all things, these completely simple tools of
of everyday life, these unadorned, scuffed things made of sheet metal with wooden frames, discarded, rickety, useless, out of date and about to end up on the scrapheap - of all things, Wolfgang Voss devotes himself to these devices. The man from Bünde in Westphalia preserves them, rebuilds them, makes music out of them and with them, and pulls up everything there is to know about washboards.
Washboards from all over the world, from different eras of world history, made of tin and wood, glass and stone, porcelain and plastic hang and lie in his cellar at home. Documents of all kinds from long ago, in writing, sound and image, are his storehouses of knowledge. With his washboard he performs in several bands - where percussion of a special kind is needed, he is happy to supply. He shows schoolchildren how to rebuild the racks with the fluted plates and teaches the musical offspring at the same time. He has taken over a complete workshop to build washboards himself in the original way. This is what happens when someone is attentive and patient enough with an object - and if it is a washboard.
Why Wolfgang Voss?
The washboard was in danger of being forgotten despite all its proven usefulness. Women were so happy when they got rid of the drudgery of eternal hand washing with the help of the washing machine. Away with the board! Washing board manufacturers gradually died out. Even the musicians had pretty much lost interest in the slanted noise machine.
What was to become of it?
Probably it was: It wasn't the man who chose the washboards. The washboard itself was looking for someone who really understood it. And there was one whose passion sought a goal. One day the vibrations met and found each other. Fortunately for both of them.
The passion for the simple device from the cultural history of everyday life and what people have done with it has matured into beautiful blossom in years of collecting and hunting. This book shows that. But it has not reached its end. A small museum is what the connoisseur and advocate of utensils for cleanliness and rhythm has in mind. Or at least an exhibition that he can
that he could send on a tour.
Would that be a good thing?
You bet it would! With more than 200 washboards of all kinds, it would certainly be possible to put on a colourful show. The story of dirt and big laundry at a time when not everything was electric is one that needs to be told. To encounter the almost most exotic of all instruments in a lively way would be a delightful little adventure. Maybe one or two people will discover the fun of the sound of the checkerboard for themselves.
The book about the washboard and the man who cares would not have come into being without the love between the two. It invites you to take an ingenious look at the things of everyday life. Because there is a story behind every thing. To get to the bottom of it is to benefit the discoverer that is in us.
Cultural Officer, Herford District
Article properties: Wolfgang Voss: Waschbretter aus aller Welt