De Waal has spoken about the influence of music on his work, for example in 2010 on the Radio 3 programme Private Passions.In another interview about music that inspires him in his work, he has described how “you can get yourself into the loops of music… I did a huge porcelain wall – 500 porcelain vessels – and there are rhythms in that wall that completely come out of baroque music. More recently there’s installations where things are in very minimalist, black lead-lined boxes, 12 of them in a row with the same number of vessels in each but they’re arranged in different ways. That’s the porcelain equivalent of Steve Reich‘s systems music! It’s the same notes and the same tones repeated and just slightly different each time and it only makes sense if you’ve got all of it.
De Wall is an artist expressing the rhythm of music, in other words, feeling from sound as an object as shown in the introduction of artists. Sound is to hear, and feeling from it is a thought in human brain. Seen in this perspective, it is surprising to see how they can be expressed in simple black color. What I have always been thinking with a theme of ‘communication’ work was to how a course of making the sound in verbal communication providing response to others by resonating the sound followed by having it back to original speaker in a visual form. Works by De Waal showed the fixed idea of my materials that were originally intended to express what was not visible in a simplified form and to express the image of sound as an image or drawing in the use of digital system in a unique and new method of using ceramic installation. Hereupon, they inspired me to make an attempt on other types of work.
His innovations include using tape loopsto create phasingpatterns (for example, his early compositions It’s Gonna Rainand Come Out), and the use of simple, audible processes to explore musical concepts (for instance, Pendulum Musicand Four Organs). These compositions, marked by their use of repetitive figures, slow harmonic rhythm and canons, have significantly influenced contemporary music, especially in the US. Reich’s work took on a darker character in the 1980s with the introduction of historical themes as well as themes from his Jewish heritage, notably the Grammy Award-winning Different Trains.