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Dmitri Kourliandski: Eurydice 2.0

In his opera for solo voice and electronics, augmented by an oversimplified piano, Dmitri Kourliandski plunges us into the solitude of Eurydice, surrounded by voices whose distortions are imagined to be caused by the distance separating it from the world of the living…   

From Eurydice, we know that she was bitten by a snake and that Orpheus tried to save her by bringing her back from hell. The story continues in the familiar way: not being able to resists turning back, Orpheus loses Eurydice definitively. From Eurydice, we also know that this is the first opera in history that has come down to us. That of Jacopo Peri, which was premiered in 1600 (seven years before Monteverdi’s Orfeo), and that composers have taken hold of the myth a countless number of times.

The long poem by Nastya Rodionova on which the piece is composed, divided into seven arias, is an intimate introspection, a plunge into a hauntingly graphic electronic environment. An experience of the dark.

We imagine the spectator/listener immersed in the center of these sound hallucinations, facing a ritual where the body and the voice of Eurydice look for each other, dissociated or reunited, facing a memory of Orpheus that is entrusted to Dominique Mercy.

The first stage of this project is developed in partnership with ENS Paris-Saclay and its resources. It is the subject of a Collective Interdisciplinary Program (PIC) from September 2019 to June 2020, under the tutorship of Volny Fages, involving six students from different disciplines in the natural sciences and humanities.

Pekka Kuusisto performs Thin Air at the Concertgebouw

Thin Air was written this spring by composer Calliope Tsoupaki: ‘The piece is meant for anyone who has been affected by the coronavirus in any way’, says the composer. On September 30th, the Finish violinst Pekka Kuusisto will perform Thin Air at the Concertgebouw…   

With Festivals for Compassion festivals around Europe express their solidarity in these times of Corona by presenting a new solo composition by the Greek-Dutch composer Calliope Tsoupaki. Each festival selects their own artist and instrument. The piece has been premiered on the Dutch NPO Radio 4 on 20 June, with the Flemish Klara taking over the next day. After this, like a relay race of compassion, the work has now its journey through Europe traveling from festival to festival…

As the official ‘Composer of the Netherlands’, Calliope Tsoupaki is the face of Dutch music today. She feels a responsibility to bring the craft of composing to a wide audience, always with an eye to current events. Tsoupaki immigrated to the Netherlands in 1988 from Greece to study composition with Louis Andriessen in The Hague. She developed into one of the Netherlands’ most high-profile composers, with her own unmistakable style incorporating her Greek roots.

Flag of Compassion


Festivals for Compassion
took its inspiration from the Flag of Compassion, a conceptual piece by the Dutch artist Rini Hurkmans. The work consists of ‘the Flag’ and a manifesto, held at the Unda Foundation. The Flag is a means to express the universal human feeling of compassion, independent of political, religious, or cultural ends. It is a flag for everybody and can be used by anyone. The Flag of Compassion (actual or virtual) can accompany Tsoupaki’s composition from festival to festival.

 

More info about the concert

Overview on all the performances

Another performance of Thin Air on Violin by V. Kuçi:

Klas Torstensson – In großer Sehnsucht by Doelen Ensemble

On Friday, March 6, the Charlotte Riedijk & Doelen Ensemble will perform Klas Torstensson – In großer Sehnsucht…   

On the eve of International Women’s Day (8 March) Musis in Arnhem presents a program in which ‘the strong woman’ is central. The song cycle In großer Sehnsucht portrays five women from the past who, each in their own way, are paragons of courage and strength. Composer Klas Torstensson dedicated the cycle to his wife, soprano Charlotte Riedijk, who will perform the songs tonight with the Doelen Ensemble.

More info & tickets

In großer Sehnsucht at the Donemus catalogue

Ensemble Modelo62 presents Petra Strahovnik’s ‘Balerina, Balerina’

This opera is the culmination of DisOrders, a two-year collaboration project between Ensemble Modelo62 and Slovenian/Dutch composer Petra Strahovnik. During this period they have created new works combining performance art, video, and electronics, to raise questions on the place and importance of mental health in our society. ‘Balerina, Balerina’ (working title) deals with Autism Spectrum DisOrder…   

Libretto based on the book ‘Balerina, Balerina’ by Slovenian writer Marko Sosič

  • Concept and composition: Petra Strahovnik
  • Stage Director: Rocc
  • Music Director: Ezequiel Menalled
  • Co-producer: Katja Konvalinka from Slovenian Chamber Music Theater
  • Premiere: October 2020 Linhart Hall, Cankar Ljubljana, Slovenia

This opera is the culmination of DisOrders, a two-year collaboration project between Ensemble Modelo62 and Slovenian/Dutch composer Petra Strahovnik. During this period they have created new works combining performance art, video, and electronics, to raise questions on the place and importance of mental health in our society. ‘Balerina, Balerina’ (working title) deals with Autism Spectrum DisOrder. 

On the opera

The heroine in Marco Sosič’s novel ‘Balerina, Balerina’, is a little girl with a limited horizon, pushed into a passive position by her mental condition: her autism spectrum disorder. She lives on the border between sky and earth, and the vital earthly categories of life, suffering, passing of time, and death, lose sharpness for her and the reader. The events in the novel are tragic for the little girl Balerina, because while her mother is dying, Balerina thinks her mother is only asleep.

In Petra Strahovnik’s opera, there is no narrative in the traditional sense, since everything is told from the perspective of the autistic girl. The storyline is shaped in the same manner as her perception of time and her awareness of what happens around her are. There are characters and objects on stage, but they are – or can be, brought to life intermittently by the various performers: the singers, the dancer, the musicians, or even the conductor. Balerina’s mother becomes a vase while another performer becomes her persona or her deep frustration. This is answered by gestures or sounds of overwhelming sadness, expressed by another performer. Actions happen, reactions interweave, emotions pour, and the normally closed inner world of the heroine is brought to life so that the audience can plunge into it and deeply connect with her.

The flexibility in the use of materials and representations of dramatic elements in this production is possible thanks to the unusual simultaneous use and combination of music and performance art. The opera is conceived for two sopranos, a performance artist, a dancer, and ten Ensemble Modelo62 musicians on stage. The musicians have undergone intensive training in performance art by artist Jürgen Fritz. 

Extended artistic collaboration.

As mentioned above Ensemble Modelo62 and Petra Strahovnik have created new works combining performance art, video, and electronics during this two-year collaboration project. An overview of these works includes:

  1. Five installations for solo performers, performed simultaneously in five galleries in The Hague. Each installation is based on a different mental condition: Depression, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder. 
  2. Three works for soloist plus ensemble. To be presented in Korzo Theater, The Hague, and during Gaudeamus Muziekweek. The works are based on three different mental conditions: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Schizophrenia.

DisOrders is made possible thanks to the financial support of Fonds Podiumkunsten, Stichting Dioraphte and Gemeente Den Haag.

www.modelo62.com

www.petrastrahovnik.eu

www.rocc.cc

www.culture.si/en/Slovenian_Chamber_Music_Theatre

Fair Practice Code Composition

Various parties are involved in a composition commission: commissioner, performer(s), programmer, publisher, funds and other sponsors and, as a matter of course, the composer. A proper agreement is based on a shared view on the joint responsibility of all parties and a candid, timely and comprehensive communication.

The Fair Practice Code for Composition Commissions is a guideline for making balanced agreements.

1. Fair compensation in accordance with the fee schedule

  • a) For any composition, the client will pay at least the relevant fee as stated in Nieuw Geneco’s fee schedule. This fee schedule is the Fair Practice calculation matrix for composition commissions, which is supported by the entire sector. The schedule is made on the basis of the duration of the composition, the number and type of instruments/parts and complexity.
  • b) Performance costs, such as scores and other activities are not included.

 

2. Clear arrangements beforehand

  • a) All parties will make contractual arrangements in time and will comply with them.
  • b) The client (commissioner) and the contractor (composer) make clear arrangements beforehand on the fee referred to in 1. and compensation of any further activities and expenses, for example accompanying rehearsals, giving lectures or introductions, travel and accommodation expenses.
  • c) All parties involved will make clear arrangements on the (feasible) costs of the performance, which includes additional musicians, instrument, scores and technical provisions.
  • d) All parties involved will be open and clear on the budget and the financing scheme, which includes all of the composition fees, rights and additional production costs.
  • e) The composer will in an early stage be involved in the preparation of the wording and contents of applications for subsidy. The quality of such an application is enhanced by appropriate artistic coordination and motivation.
  • f) The parties involved lay down their agreements on financing and the consequences of insufficient financing in financial scenarios, as well as a clear moment for making the decision (go/no go, guaranteed sums).
  • g) Monies awarded by subsidy providers as a fee for the composition will be paid to the composer in full and will not be used for any other purposes (see also I. b).
  • h) All parties involved will cooperate in the making of clear agreements on deadlines and the delivery of performance materials.

 

3. Settle copyrights. Small or grand right? Arrange it separately

  • a) The producer is responsible for the payment of copyrights and the license. Make sure that consent for the use of music is obtained in time and make sure that the correct source, name, etc. are stated.
  • b) The producer and the composer (or the composer’s assignee, for example a publisher) will make clear arrangements on the copyrights due upon publication of the music, including arrangements on mechanical reproduction rights and any grand rights.
  • c) Grand rights (music for theatre, dance, etc.)* must be agreed on separately between the producer and the composer (or the composer’s assignee) and must be a permanent item in the budget of a dance and (music) theatre production.
  • d) Mutual understanding of the flow of income, as well as the flow of investments of all parties, is an important factor for determining the composer’s fair share of the profit.
  • e) If needed, the Complaints Board for Copyright Contract Law may be consulted.

 

4. List of performed programmes and broadcasts

  • a) The user of the composition will timely provide a list of the fully played programme and the broadcasts for Buma/Stemra, the collective management organisation. It is of vital importance to submit an exhaustive list of the entire program of the works performed (both works protected by copyright and the public domain repertoire) because this is the only way to ensure that the money is received by the parties entitled to it.

 

5. Make separate provisions for performance materials!

  • a) The production of scores and parts is not included in the composer’s fee (see I.). The commissioner must reserve a separate budget for publishing materials and the costs of renting or buying the scores.
  • b) All parties involved will make timely arrangements on the production, costs and planning of the performance materials.

 

6. Sustainability: development of the public, repertoire and performance opportunities

  • a) All parties involved will do their utmost to facilitate several performances of the commissioned work and, as a consequence, build a sustainable relationship with the public.
  • b) The commissioner, the author, the performers and the publisher will cooperate as much as possible and support each other’s promotional efforts.
  • c) Exclusive rights on the performance of a composition may be granted only if the work is performed/broadcast a substantial number of times within the relevant period of time.
  • d) The commissioner and the composer will promote co-productions and performance of the work by others.
  • e) The commissioner and the composer will ensure that the scores will remain retrievable and that they are handled and preserved with due care.
  • f) The commissioner and the composer ensure that any audio or audio-visual registration or professional recording will remain retrievable.

 

*) ‘Small rights’ include all entirely musical works (compositions with/without lyrics). In the Netherlands, Buma/Stemra is responsible for the collective exploitation of those rights. The commissioning/organising party enters into a licence agreement with Buma/Stemra for the use of music and ensures that the rates applicable according to Buma/Stemra are paid, or ensures that payment is made by the relevant stage. Any new organising party is required to make arrangements in that respect in advance.

Grand rights’ include works (of music) forming part of a ‘narrative performance’ or a dramatic musical story involving several copyrights, e.g. for lyrics, music, choreography, lighting and costumes (for example ballet, opera, operetta, musicals etc.). Or, to put it differently: music that is written especially for the production.

Copyrights on music forming part of a ‘Grand Rights Production’ are not collected by Buma/Stemra: the producers of ‘Grand Rights Productions’ enter into agreements with all entitled parties, authors and publishers and may make any arrangements they prefer on the use of the music. (Source: Buma/Stemra 2019)

The Fair Practice Code for Composition Commissions is a specification of the Fair Practice Code from Kunsten ’92, drawn up by Nieuw Geneco in consultation with many commissioning parties, composers, authors’ associations and the Performing Arts Fund NL.

Dominy Clements – An Enlightened Disciple of Darkness

In 2012, Tõnu Kaljuste, famous Estonian conductor and director of the Nargen Festival, commissioned the English composer-writer-performer Dominy Clements, residing in The Hague, to compose a one-act play about the Estonian optician and inventor Bernhard Schmidt, who was born in 1879 on the island of Naissaar (Nargen) off the coast of Tallinn and grew up there. Bernhard Schmidt was the inventor of the famous Schmidt camera (also called Schmidt telescope) which is still used in astronomy today.

At the premiere in 2013 the soloists Endrik Üksvärav (tenor) and Maria Valdmaa (soprano), the Nargen Opera Choir and the Dutch ensemble Fluitoctet BlowUp! were involved in the opera. Costume designer was Reet Aus. Directing and setting were in the hands of Giuseppe Frigeni.

The life story of Bernhard Schmidt

As a 15-year-old Bernhard Schmidt experiments with gunpowder, losing two fingers. However, the local doctor amputates his entire hand. Despite this, Schmidt continues to experiment, now with lenses and photography. While studying at the technical universities of Gothenburg and Mittweida (Saxony), Schmidt began to specialise in mirrors for telescopes, first for amateur astronomers, later for professional researchers.

Based in Germany, his fame grows rapidly and he receives important assignments to sharpen lenses and mirrors for, among others, the astrophysical observatory in Potsdam. He also takes spectacular photographs of the sun, moon, planets, and other galaxies.

Between 1904 and 1914 Schmidt is a wealthy man who owns a car – a rare luxury in this day and age – and allows himself to be driven by a driver. With the outbreak of World War I, however, his life changed drastically. As an official citizen of Russia (to which Estonia belonged) he is now considered an enemy of Germany and was arrested. Even after his release from the prison camp he remains under police control and his business is curtailed. After the war and as a result of the high inflation that caused the German economy to collapse, Schmidt went bankrupt in the mid-twenties. He returns to his homeland Estonia – now an independent republic – and tries to set up a new company with one of his patented inventions, a counter wind propeller boat. When this fails, he returns to Germany and joins the Hamburg Observatory.

There, in 1930, he made his greatest invention: the so-called Schmidt camera with the Schmidt correction plate, also named after him. This invention caused a sensation in the world of astronomy. However, the depression of the 1930s prevented principals from putting the invention into practice, something which ultimately drove Bernhard Schmidt to mental despair. On December 1, 1935, he dies of an acute brain disorder. Shortly before that he had been in Leiden on business. The Schmidt camera is used internationally in astronomical research after the Second World War. In 2009 another satellite was launched, equipped with a Schmidt camera.

Dominy Clements

Dominy Clements talks about his libretto and opera An Enlightened Disciple of Darkness (2011-13): In 2009 I met Tõnu Kaljuste, to whom I told that as a flautist I had specialized in playing the sub-contrabass flute and played with other ‘low’ flutists. His reaction was surprising: ‘new sound!

An invitation to his Nargen Festival 2011 followed. On the programme was my composition for choir and flute orchestra, which Kaljuste apparently appealed to, because after that he suggested that I write a chamber opera for small ensemble about the life of Bernhard Schmidt. He wanted to bring this exceptional inventor and his birthplace, the Estonian island off the coast of Tallinn, Naissaar, back to the attention of the audience. There was no libretto yet, so I began to delve into Bernhard Schmidt’s life. In the end it was the easiest solution to write the whole work myself, both the libretto and the music.

Bernhard Schmidt was a brilliant and idiosyncratic figure who, partly due to the distrust of the society around him, solved all the problems himself; from making the equipment that could be operated with one hand, to sharpening lenses and mirrors himself in the finest detail and sharpness. He found machines ‘stupid’; he relied more on the feeling of his one hand to remove the smallest irregularities from the glass. Unfortunately, recognition for his most important invention, the Schmidt camera, only came after his death. Many old photographs have been preserved that Schmidt himself made of the universe, including images of his working drawings and, of course, of his own work.

More info: info@donemus.nl

Works by Dominy Clements

Other work by Dominy Clements performed by the Nederlands Fluitorkest

 

New Music Conference

On Friday 8 November 2019, Buma presents a new initiative in collaboration with November Music in cultural center Verkadefabriek in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. New Music Conference will be one day on topics of interest to composers, performing artists, programmers, publishers, record labels, managers and booking agents…   

We would be very happy to welcome you during the first edition of New Music Conference, that will take place as part of the November Music Festival in Den Bosch. The conference is a meeting place of likeminded people in new music, reaching from representatives of venues and festivals to musicians, publishers and composers.

Conference topics

With a number of panel discussions and presentations, New Music Conference is of importance to everyone involved in new music: composers, venue and festival programmers, music publishers, performing musicians and label representatives. A quick summary of topics: Keynote speech by Tim Rutherford-Johnson – New audiences for new music – DIY: freelancing as a legitimate career goal – Digital developments for performing musicians – Fair Practice: an intermediate score – Presentation of production house Rizoom – New Composers Pitch – How do I receive the money to which I am entitled? – Meet & Connect…

New Music Conference is not meant to be just about listening. Those who work professionally in music and feel at home with November Music’s programme, can share their knowledge and experience, and build their international professional network – in the official, carefully supervised matchmaking sessions or simply in the restaurant, bars and corridors of Verkadefabriek.

Register here

Vanessa Lann – Rise Again

Componiste Vanessa Lann won dit jaar de Buma Award Classical. Dit is een prijs voor de Nederlandse componist met de meeste uitvoeringen in een bepaald jaar in binnen- en buitenland. Haar muziek is fun om te spelen – en prachtig om te beluisteren. Spelers vinden het uitdagend, maar het is altijd goed geschreven voor elk instrument. Onlangs schreef zij een werk voor twee fagotten en (amateur) symfonieorkest, ‘Rise Again’. Dit wordt amateur-orkesten tijdelijk aangeboden voor een sterk gereduceerd tarief…   

Met haar passie voor amateur ensembles schreef Vanessa Lann het werk Rise in 2017, in opdracht van het FagotNetwerk. Dit is een werk voor twee fagotten en (amateur) kamerorkest, met een focus op het niveau van de meeste amateur ensembles, en ook met een bijzondere rol voor de tweede fagot. (lees meer over de oorspronkelijke versie)

Om dit werk beschikbaar te stellen aan meer (amateur) orkesten, maakte Vanessa Lann onlangs deze versie voor symfonie-orkest. Ook Rise Again is verkrijgbaar tegen een sterk gereduceerde tarief zonder huur/licentiekosten. Bij repetities en uitvoeringen van Rise, en ook Rise Again, kan de componist zelf aanwezig zijn. Na succesvolle tournees van het Van Wassenaerorkest (o.l.v. Benjamin Boers) en het Airchestra (o.l.v. Joan Olaf) waren er veel enthousiaste reacties van spelers en van het publiek. Heeft uw orkest interesse in dit bijzondere initiatief? Vragen over de compositie, de partijen, etc, kunnen naar de componist gestuurd worden (vlann33@hotmail.com), of naar info@donemus.nl. De partituur van Rise Again is via deze link online in te zien

Is dit een project voor… uw orkest?

Light Trace

– An immersive and inclusive experience – 

(Yael Levy, Nikos Kokolakis e.o.)

Concept

“What is a musical score and how can it become an active part of a performance? How does it alter the way we experience sound in space and how does sound change the way we experience the ‘space’ of a musical score?”

Catchpenny Ensemble, together with guest composers and visual artists, aims to approach these questions by creating Light Trace, a concert-length interdisciplinary work which explores the performance space with an interactive, image based score.

 Light Trace is an immersive and inclusive experience. One is drawn to an inner world of visual and sonic landscapes where lights, video and sounds meet playfully, in a delicate game of revealing and hiding musical mechanisms and networks through a magical and intellectual journey.

Audience

With Light Trace, Catchpenny Ensemble intends to reach audiences interested in various artistic disciplines, from new media and visual art to contemporary and electronic music. This program will be presented in various types of spaces such as concert halls, galleries and art spaces around the Netherlands.

It will be premiered at Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2019 as part of Catchpenny’s residency as Gaudeamus Award Ensemble 2019 among new works by 3 nominees for the Gaudeamus Award 2019, Nicholas David Morrish, Scott Rubin and Stefan Maier. A try-out concert will take place at Korzo Theater – Den Haag on the 17th April 2019.

Realization

Light Trace is a dialogue between the Catchpenny composers, Yael Levy, Nikos Kokolakis, Sascha Thiele, guest composers Þráinn Hjálmarsson, Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir and the artist Tivon Rice. They created this work in collaboration with the performers of the Catchpenny Ensemble.

Throughout the piece the musicians follow – and influence – the visual score which is presented to the audience through a setup of lights and video. It communicates musical information in a non-traditional way – with light gestures, movements on screen, etc – allowing different types of audiences to perceive and appreciate diverse nuances in the music making of the performance.

Even though the musicians are precisely following guidelines and instructions, they can affect the direction of every performance through a live-controlled visual score. The nature of the composition allows the performers to choose and follow a new route each time from among a landscape of pre-composed musical paths, making it an exciting experience for both performers and audience.

 Beyond just providing musical information to the performers, the visual score of Light Trace  is an integral part of the stage design, inviting the audience to be immersed in it. The setup consists of one video projection, 6 light panels, stations corresponding to the lights/video and live electronics controlled by 2 performers, and 8 instrumentalists placed on different parts of the stage in groups.

Ensemble

Based in The Hague, the Catchpenny Ensemble is a platform for exchanging and practicing creative musical and artistic ideas.

The diverse backgrounds and the various inputs of its members lead to a fruitful and continuous musical dialogue. The combination of acoustic and electronic instruments, together with video art, cinema and audio-visual elements is Catchpenny Ensemble’s defining characteristic.

 The repertoire of the Ensemble consists of new multimedia works by its own composers Yael Levy, Sascha Thiele and Nikos Kokolakis, alongside works by commissioned composers and artists. Its unique instrumentation – flute, oboe, clarinet, trombone, piano, percussion, el. guitar, cello and live electronics – together with its live or fixed visual setups, makes space for new repertoire tailored for Catchpenny Ensemble.

Catchpenny Ensemble has performed in various venues and festivals in the Netherlands, such as Holland Festival (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam – 2016), Peter  Ablinger’s Residency (Koninklijk Conservatorium, Nutshuis – 2016), Dag in de Branding Festival in The Hague (Het Nutshuis and Korzo Theater – 2016), Hoogtij #51 (Het Nutshuis – 2017), and Sounds of Silence Festival (DNR – 2018).

Team

  • concept/composition:
    Yael Levy
    Nikos Kokolakis
    Sascha Thiele
    Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir
    Þráinn Hjálmarsson
  • lights/video instrument: Tivon Rice
  • flute: Irene Ruiperez Canales
  • oboe: Chris Tsogias Razakov
  • clarinets: Vincent Martig
  • trombone: Ledion – Leonidas Zhupali
  • el. guitar: Nick Vailer
  • percussion: Natalia Alvarez – Arenas
  • piano: Ivan Pavlov
  • cello: Laura Roura Foixa

Booking and contact
www.catchpennyensemble.com
catchpennyensemble@gmail.com