World premiere Klas Torstensson – und eine Springflut…

As a twenty-three-year-old composer, Klas Torstensson wrote a work for solo string quartet and large string orchestra, entitled ‘… and a Springflut überschwemmt den stillen Horizont …’. The title was a quote from the poem ‘Pierrot Lunaire’ by Albert Giraud, as used by Arnold Schönberg in his pioneering work from 1912…   

Klas Torstensson’s piece, an attempt at musical historiography, was performed for the first time in the summer of 1974 at the Ung Nordisk Musik Festival in Framnäs (Sweden). Played by young musicians from the Scandinavian countries, the conductor was Sigfrid Naumann, and it sounded great!

Since then, his musical ideals has changed considerably, and he even withdraw the piece from my (Swedish) publisher. But the memories of the piece from his Sturm und Drang years remained, and when he received a request a few years ago to write a work for string ensemble, he saw his chance to return to the piece.

In his attempt to realize this highly compressed historiography, Klas brought together a number of musical styles: the late romanticism of around 1900 (think of Strauss or Mahler), music of the “Second Viennese School” (Schoenberg, Berg, Webern) and music from after the Second World War (Penderecki, Stockhausen). ‘Styles’ – but no literal quotes.

So in the current chamber music version, the core of the piece has remained the same, but the effect is new. The present piece was built on the rubble of the original. No desecration, but restoration …

This ‘und eine Springflut…’ will be performed by Camarata Nordica on September 15 (world premiere), 16 and 17.

More info about the concert

und eine Springflut… in the webshop

More about Klas Torstensson

Georgia Nicolaou at the opening of the Gaudeamus Music Week

A semi-staged work by the Gaudeamus Award jury member and laureate, Richard Ayers, will be juxtaposed with works by two young music pioneers who have been nominated for the Gaudeamus Award 2018: William Kuo and William Dougherty. Their work will be performed in Hertz, the chamber music hall of TivoliVredenbrug. As you move from the Large Hall to Hertz, at the escalators Slagwerk Den Haag will regale you with brand-new music by composer Georgia Nicolaou…   

Georgia Nicolau is a versatile musician, composer, performer and dancer, her works are distinguished for their liveliness, rhythmical complexities and modal character. Being active in the broader artistic world, the multidisciplinary aspect is evident in many of her works, adding a stimulating essence to the music itself.

Georgia’s works include pieces for chamber ensembles varying from small to large settings; several dance pieces, two short modern operas and one experimental Music Theatre piece. Besides acoustic music she is composing electronic and electroacoustic music. Her works have been performed in distinguished venues, concert halls and festivals in the Netherlands (De Doelen, Tivoli Vredenburg, Fenixloods), Germany, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Cyprus and Greece. In September 2016 she was awarded the Tera de Marez Oyens prize for her work S o c I a l I C E, during the internationally renowned Gaudeamus Festival for contemporary music in Utrecht. The prize serves as a commission for the composition of a new piece, which will be performed during the opening now of the Gaudeamus Muziekweek.

Before the opening concert, at 19:00 there will be a musical ode to the city on the quayside next to TivoliVredenburg. This free concert on and around the water includes work by Yannis Kyriakides and is performed by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.

More info

Andrius Arutiunian – Deserted steps

In 2007, Dutch composer and artist Sedje Hémon launched a virtual museum of her work. It was built inside of the early-virtual reality platform Active Worlds. This platform allowed its users to freely navigate and build near-infinite space, while socializing with each other. In Hémon’s virtual museum, one could enter her paintings and explore them in a three-dimensional way. Though the museum went offline in 2011, composer Andrius Arutiunian recovered it to be used as part of the live score in this piece…   

Discovering the Active Worlds platform, Andrius Arutiunian was struck by its early-internet aesthetics as well as the vastness of its digital landscapes. Strolling through endless digital worlds in Active Worlds that were once filled people and voices (and now are abandoned digital deserts), he couldn’t help to wonder what happens to the forgotten virtual spaces. He also noticed that all the worlds (of which there are many) are filled with digital graffiti – short inscriptions left by people on the walls of the sites they built and took care of. These traces in their simplicity and poetics, reminded him of the cave drawings, especially in their function – to leave a mark in a new and uninhabited world.

Parts 1&3 of his piece use the video and graffiti material from various two-decade-old worlds at the Active Worlds, reimagining this abandoned space still being roamed by its decaying AI and the last remaining users. The second part of the piece opens up with the conductor entering the VR museum of Sedje Hémon and exploring its spaces live on stage. The musicians follow an intricate system of cues and signs, and sonify the VR museum as the conductors navigates its quiet chambers.

More info at the Gaudeamus website

Austin Yip – Metamorphosis at the HKPhil

On September 28 and 29 the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Metamorphosis of Austin Yip. This work was premiered on 7 January, 2017, conducted by Aldert Vermeulen in Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. This piece was awarded the Golden Sail Music Award by Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong for the Best Serious Composition in 2017…   

“You’ve done a fantastic job. I think that you orchestrated really well. I think that sometimes for new music I really can not get, but with you, I got immediately in your world… The orchestration is wonderful.” — Jaap van Zweden on the premiere of the work.

Artists often like to develop their works around the concept of “metamorphosis”, but the understanding of “metamorphosis” varies among people. With Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”, people often regard the title as the “change of form”, rather than an “improved change” — because the protagonist wakes up one day and realises himself being transformed into a giant insect. Such transformation differs from people’s normal understanding of the term “metamorphosis”, which is often the process to transform something from an immature state to a relatively more mature state. However, Kafka’s protagonist transforms from the family’s support into a gigantic burden in just one night. In the reader’s eyes, it seems as if the title “Metamorphosis” refers more to the transformation of the protagonist’s family, which turns well after the protagonist’s death, rather than the protagonist himself.

This work, entitled “Metamorphosis”, is to be paired up with its Chinese name, “Po Kan”, which literally means “to break through a cocoon”. It depicts the moment of how a troublesome matter resolves, and the short instance right after the process. Similar to how a worm transforms into a cocoon, and then to a butterfly, after the process of metamorphosis, the short instance of beauty gradually changes, and eventually the butterfly faces death. In Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”, the protagonist’s family seems to have a bright life after the protagonist dies, but actually, no one knows what happens to them next. Nonetheless, everyone enjoys the moment of the transformation.

Read more…


Donemus congratulates Reinbert

On September 8th Reinbert de Leeuw will get 80! ASKO|Schönberg and others will celebrate this with a concert at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ with Barbara Hannigan and others. Donemus will have its part at the surprise to be presented to Reinbert….   

For Donemus, Reinbert de Leeuw is one of the greatest ambassadors for contemporary composers. We’re very grateful for his endless efforts to new repertoire. He gave many premieres, he took composers to other countries etc. etc. His impressive composition ‘Der Nächtliche Wanderer‘ is for sure one of the big jewels in the Donemus catalogue, with performances in the Concertgebouw, in Helsinki, at the BBC Proms etc.

Read more at the website of the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ:

[Dutch] Het programma van vanavond blijft voor zowel De Leeuw als voor het publiek een verrassing. Divers wordt het zeker, met een keur aan (internationale) gasten met wie De Leeuw in zijn lange loopbaan samenwerkte. Hannigan zingt het muziekdrama Socrate van Erik Satie, dat zij en De Leeuw op een bejubelde cd hebben gezet.

Reinbert de Leeuw ís muziek. Hij richtte het Schönberg Ensemble op, kende megasucces met zijn opnames van Saties pianowerken, componeerde, dirigeerde, bewonderde en inspireerde. Zijn onvoorwaardelijke geloof in componisten als Goebaidoelina, Kurtág, Oestvolskaja, Kagel, Ligeti, Vivier en vele anderen heeft het muzieklandschap van de voorbije halve eeuw verrijkt. Uitzonderlijk is de band met zijn boezemvriend Louis Andriessen, die in de tweede seizoenshelft ook zijn 80e verjaardag viert in het Muziekgebouw.

Read more…

Reinbert de Leeuw at Donemus

Der Nächtliche Wanderer at the BBC Proms:

Sonic artist Roland Emile Kuit at ICAE2018

To mark the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the First Armenian Republic, Yerevan will host the “International Contemporary Art Exhibition: Armenia 2018. Soundlines of Contemporary Art”, which from September 25 to October 25 will engage the capital city with more than fifty international artists exhibiting in seven different locations around the city…   

“Soundlines of Contemporary Art”, curated by Mazdak Faiznia and Marina Hakobyan and created and organized by Shaula International LLC, is held under the high patronage of the Presidency of Armenia and the patronage of the Canadian Government, the Ministry of Culture of Armenia, the Ministry of Cultural Activities and Tourism of Italy, the cultural promotional project of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy Vivere All’italiana, the Italian Embassy in Armenia. The event is further supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, the EU Delegation to Armenia and the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU).

Composer and sonic artist Roland Emile Kuit at the Aram Khachaturian Museum

Composer and sonic artist Roland Emile Kuit is considered a pioneer of the art form generally referred to as “sound installation”. He introduced and taught this form of audio art at the Vrije Academie The Hague, as well to the installation area. A metamorphosis from the traditional speaker boxes into ‘sonic spaces’. 

Kuit’s sonic work ranges from experimental sound-architectural installations to acousmatic performances, often in cooperation with artists, designers and scientists. Kuit is researching chaotic systems, sound at atomic levels, morphology and decision-making processes beyond algorithm and stochastic approaches. 

Kuit lectures, performs/exhibits worldwide at universities, art galleries, museums and creative hubs.


Kuit was this year at the SONO Studios in Prague recording his latest work ‘Tactile Utterance’ for Tomas Rajlich with the Fama Q String Quartet. Kuit had the opportunity  to record a painting Tomas Rajlich in his atelier. For this occasion, Kuit had brought his ZOOM H6 recorder and connected 4 contact microphones to the canvas. As Rajlich was working, proportioning out and shaping the acrylic paint, Kuit managed to seize this sonic autograph in paint of Tomas Rajlich.

These recordings were taken back to the Netherlands to Kuit’s studio. Here he had to find ways to deal with these raw recordings. The idea was to create a quadraphonic sonic art space by processing the material into sonic art. Roland used the Kyma system to analyse these sounds in the spectral realm.

As Rajlich is modifying the appearance, hardness, flexibility, texture, and other characteristics of the paint surface, Kuit had to find a way to work likewise. Kuit’s idea of working in the spectral realm is that he can add more ways to deconstruct sound. He has now the possibility to separate frequencies, amplitudes and time, reconstructing sounds composing new textures.

Kuit created from acrylic sounds the spectra used by Oscillator Banks of 256 separate oscillators. Each oscillator is associated with a patial from the time-varying spectrum given in the Spectrum field. As a result this data is modulated and articulated into the ‘sonic space’. Air as canvas, acrilyc has a voice now.