for trombone, viola, contrabass flute and 4 magic lanterns comissioned by Stichting Kous
In Lijnen sound and image are together sharing a common language in the same level of hierarchy. In collaboration with visual artist Ida Lohman, image and sound work in a one-to-one relationship.Lijnenuses a significantly reduced palette of materials: seven different images and four sounds for three instruments(viola, trombone and contrabass flute). The combination of few elementsallows multiple possibilities. Simple and complex. In this piece, both music and image are played in real-time.
for harp and percussion dedicated to Arnold Marinissen
The stage shows two sorcerers working in a lab. They are alchemists who use musical instruments and sound objects to perform their magic. A duo for harp and percussion the instruments realm is extended to the world of objects. Metrical metronomes, dropping stones, paper sounds aim to create an aural situation where the theater is acted by the sound. Magic in the context of this work could be understood like alchemy. The two sorcerers work in counterpoint in their music spells. The sound is not transmuted into gold but into lights, gestures, and theatrical elements. It is not clear what is to be seen, to be heard or to be imagined in this piece. The timpani suggests the big pan from the magicians; it is used mainly like a resonator capturing distant resonances.
They are especially good at transmuting solid objects into soundwaves. In a never-ending modulation wheel, they can change water into air into grains into umbrellas into a c sharp into water again. The sorcerers live in a slightly out-of-phase dimension from each other; for that reason, they relate to each other in canon. We can think that one is the echo of the other, or, in a more adventurous interpretation, that one is the anticipation of the other.
They like experimentation, so, when a spell works, they feel effervescent for a couple of seconds to instantly fall into a melancholic mood. To lighten up, they quickly write down the result of the trick on a paper and give it to the scientists. Magic is not about results; it is about believing in miracles and subtle relationships. I recognize in their attitude a resemblance with ordinary life, where we live our unsolved spells in canon with our fantasies, slightly late, slightly early.
Around music #1 (2006) for alto flute, trumpet, violoncello, percussion and piano commissioned by Stichting Perpetuumm
Around music #2 (2006/rev. 2018) for alto flute, electric guitar, cello, piano and percussion new version commissioned by New Maker ensemble
“What is for the eye must not duplicate what is for the ear” “The eye solicited alone makes the ear impatient, the ear solicited alone, makes the eye impatient. Use these impatiences. ”. Robert Bresson
Around music attempts to be a philosophical-humoristic reflection about the rituals of modern music and the concert situations. Actions related to the practice of music like counting, failing, facing technical difficulties, repeating or dropping instruments are the new musical material for this piece, written in a score. Around music is music to be heard, music to be seen.
Program notes Around Music#2 by New Maker Ensemble (July 2019)
Terms such as “absolute music”, or “abstract music” can be seen as dialectical responses to major philosophical systems, which were influential in central Europe during the mid 19th century. Music – in these people’s minds – should therefore be an art form, free and independent from everything else. It should only respond to its own laws and, for bearing an essentially pure and formally perfect nature, any produced discourse would prove incorruptible. The interest of any musician subscribing to this thought ghetto, should, above all, in the abatement and suppression of any noise, sonic and visual, but also semantic and political. At the moment each piece finds itself realized, only that which most resembles the imagined formal ideal must survive! However, in each concert, there always happens a number of things which are not music in those terms. People have solely learned how to ignore them. New Maker Ensemble, London July 2019 http://www.nmensemble.com/sistema-concert.html
Sistema Project If we think a system is a cohesive form of a group of inter-related elements, then, depending on the temporal and spatial framing, anything can be a system! These types of considerations have been a focal point in the culture of production, conception and critique of the New Maker Ensemble. This time, Sistema (system) has served as a starting point for all the work developed in this project, from the new music program to the complementary educational activities. The way we challenged the various creators, we also challenge you to think of systems: where are they? how are they created? how are they useful? how do they work? what do they tell us? how do they constitute themselves? what are they made of? how do they manifest themselves? what do they produce? how complex or simple are they? how do they evolve? what direction do they have? how are they part of us? what autonomy do they have? how are we part of them? etc.
for violin, trombone, piano, radio, cassette player and a rocking chair commissioned by NFPK, Holland
There are three people sitting in a room; they are just staying but also remembering the past and dreaming about the future all at the same time. It is always difficult to say what now and here means because our hearts gets always confused about organizing emotions on a timeline.
Koen rewinds, anticipates and plays the cassette player as a metaphor of past (and future?) memories. Bas plays a radio that catches the air in an ever-flowing present. Nora moves back and forth from the piano in a rocking chair, looped in her own clock.
Music is a powerful time machine, traveling through chronologically organized sounds, but mainly through the mixed archeology of our emotions.