André Laporte: Autobiography

Van Kemenade & Hollaers has just released the autobiography of André Laporte, one of the most important Flemish composers, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday…   

André Laporte is not only one of the most important Flemish composers of our time, he also enjoys great international renown. On the occasion of his ninetieth birthday in 2021, he compiled his autobiography. He talks about his life, about his various professional activities, he describes his contacts with other artists, his dedication to the music of Flemish composers, his interest in other arts and how that interest has influenced his composing.

This publication contains several lectures and essays by Laporte in which he gives his personal view on the evolution of old and new music, describes the music of his preference, makes a case for the music of Flanders and its international importance, and outlines the current music life. In other lectures, he elaborates on his own music and his own aesthetics.

All compositions in composer’s oeuvre are provided with his own commentary, with of course a lot of attention dedicated to his opera Das Schloss. Through this multi-faceted approach, André Laporte provides a profound insight into his personal way of composing and into his critical vision of contemporary music. This picture is completed by press reviews and comments, as well as by essays written by Guido Defever, Yves Knockaert and Herman Sabbe.

Order the book here

André Laporte at Donemus

Royal Honour for Ig Henneman, the Ambassador of Improvised Music

On 12 September 2021, Ignatine Henneman has been appointed Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau. She received the royal decoration for her important contribution to Dutch jazz and improvised music. Henneman received the award from alderman Touria Meliani…   

After studying at the conservatory, Henneman started her career as a classical musician in various orchestras. Resisting limitations imposed by composing only classical music, she founded one of the first female bands in the Netherlands in 1977: F.C. Gerania.

Henneman wrote songs for jazz and improvisation groups such as the Ig Henneman Sextet, the David Kweksilber Bigband, the Canadian Orkestra Futura, the Italian Instabile Orchestra, the Clazz Ensemble and the duo Baars-Henneman.

In the 1980s, Henneman devoted herself to the Foundation Woman and Music, which strived to create more space for women in the Dutch music scene.  She also set up the WIG Foundation, which promotes composed and improvised music.

In recent years, Henneman has organised concerts and projects with various musicians, poets, dancers and visual artists in Europe, North America, Brazil, Japan and elsewhere. During these tours Ms. Henneman regularly gave workshops and master classes on jazz and improvised music. Because of her influence on the Dutch music scene and her support for women in this field, Ms Henneman has been appointed Knight of the Order of Oranje-Nassau.

Order of Oranje-Nassau

This decoration is awarded to those who have rendered personal service to society, the State or the Royal Household for a long period of time. There are six degrees in the Order of Orange-Nassau: Knight Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer, Knight and Member.

Read more…

More about Ig Henneman

Works of Ig Henneman at Donemus

Donemus Records can offer releases in Spatial Audio

Immersive Audio is an umbrella term referring to three-dimensional sound technologies. It creates virtual height and side channels, tricking your ears into thinking that sound is coming from all angles. It even works on regular stereo headphones!… 

Donemus Records can now deliver immersive audio to Apple Music, meaning that your music can now be experienced with multi-dimensional, Dolby Atmos sound by all Apple Music subscribers.

Spatial Audio
This refers to Apple’s own immersive implementation that uses sensors to track the listener’s head movements and adjusts the directionality of the audio. This requires an Apple device plus AirPods Pro or AirPods Max.
Releasing music in the Dolby Atmos audio format sets you up for interesting on-platform marketing opportunities. There are a number of new sliders, hero banners, and features incorporated into Apple Music now dedicated to content available in Spatial Audio. Apple will also have curated Dolby Atmos playlists to help listeners find music in this format. Also, albums that are available in Dolby Atmos will have a badge on the album detail page.

File Requirements
All Dolby Atmos files must meet the following requirements:
24-bit 48 kHz ADM BWAV
Max. 128 channels
Max. 118 objects
Must be of the same duration as the stereo file

Which DSPs support immersive audio?
We currently support delivery to Apple Music only.

Will you add immersive audio support for other DSPs?
Yes, we’re working with a number of DSPs to add support for delivering immersive audio to them.

How can I get my content ready for Dolby Atmos?
We recommend you to follow Dolby’s guide to get started.

Will my immersive audio release become available for download on iTunes?
No, Spatial Audio is available for streaming only.

Can I create a release using Dolby Atmos audio only?
No, you are always required to attach a stereo recording to a track.

Listen to the Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 in Spatial audio

More about Spatial Audio

Calliope Tsoupaki: ‘Calling’ by Fie Schouten

The magazine ‘The Clarinet’ of the International Clarinet Association has published a review of the CD by Fie Schouten which includes ‘Calling’ by Calliope Tsoupaki… 

‘Nature: Chamber Music for (Bass) Clarinet’ is an album with a wealth of new music, written specifically for the low clarinet family. Many of the works are for unaccompanied instruments along with two works for bass clarinet as a chamber instrument.

From the review: Written for Fie Schouten in 2015, Calling by Tsoupaki showcases her lyrical, soft dynamic playing. Schouten’s ability to use timbral definition to highlight the growth of intensity in repeated passages creates a sense of movement much like floating. Extended techniques including quarter tones, short glissandi and timbral trills accent the melodic lines. This piece is called a “lamento” by the performer and mimics the emotional build leading to deep sobbing.

Read the full review

More about the CD

Celia Swart: Elevation of self-validation

On September 18th, at the festival Dag in de Branding, Kluster5 will perform Celia Swart’s ‘Elevation of self-validation’ at Korzo in The Hague…   

Nobody can escape it: the smartphone dominates a large part of our lives. This also applies to composer Celia Swart, who is acutely aware of the pitfalls of social media: ‘In this parallel internet world, you always show the best side of yourself. So do I. I will never write that I had a bad week, or post a picture of my messy room. By doing this, we have created a new world where nothing is what it seems.’

In the multimedia piece Elevation of self-validation that she wrote for Kluster5, Swart shows how a young woman loses herself in this virtual dimension. The world of the lonely violinist Cecí Gold gradually becomes more complex and layered. The distinction between real and fake becomes increasingly difficult to make, also for herself.

Read the interview by Thea Derks

Celia Swart at Donemus

Jan-Peter de Graaff: Event-Horizon

In 2020, Jan-Peter de Graaff’s composition Event-Horizon could not be performed during the opening concert last season due to the corona-crisis. At the start of this season, the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, together with the Groot Omroepkoor and conducted by James Gaffigan, will give the premiere at TivoliVredenburg on September 17th…   

Event-Horizon is a symphonic suite (one could even say a ‘symphony’) in 4 movements. The piece describes the transformation of particles near the gravity of a black hole.

The first movement focuses on the behaviour of particles from a fixed point, far away from the black hole.  After a strong introduction where three ‘spiral pillars’ are introduced, the piece focuses on ‘dust particles’ that travel to the event-horizon of a black hole at nearly the speed of light, until they cross the event-horizon and disappear. The chorus sings a scattered and fragmented text in vowels and consonants that seem to appear from the black hole.

The second movement focuses on the same journey, but now from the perspective of a single particle that gains more energy and weight as soon as it gets closer to the black hole, drawing in the entire orchestra.

In the third movement, we see ‘beyond’ the event-horizon, where all matter is being transformed into different elements. Time is stretched and bent, the orchestra continuously regroups in different ensembles of multiple instruments playing independently.

In the fourth movement, the listener enters a new world, where one finally can see beyond matter, speed and texture. All the noises and particles from before are reassembled in a single choral, that was shining through the piece the entire time.

More info about the concert

The score of Event-Horizon at the Donemus Catalogue


Marion von Tilzer: Ten Songs of Change

Last July, Ten Songs of Change by composer-pianist Marion von Tilzer was released on CD and LP. She composed this I Ching-inspired cycle of poetry and music for and with cellist Maya Fridman. Author Lulu Wang chose the poems…   

(text by Thea Derks)

‘Maya and I met in the winter of 2018 and immediately got into a conversation about mysticism,’ Marion von Tilzer (b. 1968) explains enthusiastically. Shortly afterwards Fridman suggested devoting a composition for cello, piano and voice to the I Ching, the Chinese book of changes’.

She wanted to work with the Chinese author Lulu Wang, who lives in the Netherlands. That immediately struck a chord with Von Tilzer: ‘I thought it was a wonderful prospect to be able to work with two such extraordinary artists and fortunately Wang was willing to participate. Then Maya and I started brainstorming.

Both had to admit that they did not know the Chinese book of proverbs in depth. Von Tilzer: ‘Although I regularly read a translation that I had had since 1992, the book remained cryptic to me. Through the project I learned to understand it better, partly thanks to Lulu Wang’s insights and ideas. We often see the I Ching as an oracle book, but it is a classic literary work that in China has the status of our Bible. Philosophical movements such as Taoism and Confucianism come together in it.

Von Tilzer eventually decided to take inspiration from the eight trigrams that form the basis of the I Ching: ‘Each trigram has its own atmosphere and also refers to seasons, parts of the day, emotions and even sounds. I heard music in the stories behind them.’

Read the full article…

Niek Idelenburg: Songs of Travel & Farewell

Niek Idelenburg wrote ‘Songs of Travel and Farewell’ as an 18-part song cycle for four singers and piano. Live performance on September 26…   

SEPTEMBER ME will make Amersfoort the centre of classical music for the fifth time from 23 till 26 September 2021. For this anniversary edition, artistic leader Ragazze Quartet has once again put together a special multidisciplinary festival programme for young and old, with a curious and open mind. Composers, musicians and artists reflect in a creative and inspiring way on this year’s theme: Heroes.

Songs of Travel and Farewell is a song cycle about the anti-hero in us. The singers ask each other questions and reflect on their lives, the past and the future. What do you say if you go away for a long time, and what if you never come back? Do you say nothing? Would you have written letters? But what would you write in a letter if you speak a language that nobody understands, except for…

Soprano: Elisabeth Hetherington | Mezzo: Karin Strobos | Tenor: Erik Slik | Baritone: Martijn Cornet | Piano: Maurice Lammerts van Bueren

Songs of Travel and Farewell at Donemus Webshop

More info

Calliope Tsoupaki: Capodistrias – Monodrama of a secret life

On October 1st the Greek National Opera will give the world premiere of Calliope Tsoupaki’s Capodistrias – Monodrama of a secret life. This production, part of a tribute to the 2021 bicentennial of the Greek Revolution, is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)…   

Τhe unrequited love between the first governor of the modern Greek State, Ioannis Capodistrias, and Roxandra Sturdza, the lady-in-waiting of the Empress of Russia, serves as subject to the new monodrama by composer Calliope Tsoupaki.

In one of the most romantic episodes of the Greek struggle for independence, Capodistrias and Sturdza (the former a promising politician and diplomat, the latter an educated noblewoman, offspring of a rich Greek Moldavian family) met at the Russian imperial court in 1809 and shared a longstanding, deeply spiritual bond; nevertheless, their love was unconsummated due to their class difference and Capodistrias’ self-sacrificing commitment to the Greek cause. Their relationship blossomed around music: apart from their common political activism concerning the Philomuse (as well as philhellenic) Society of Vienna, Sturdza is reputed to have played the piano to Capodistrias during their more private moments…

Based on their extensive correspondence as well as on Sturdza’s memoirs, the composer renders their moving story in non-narrative terms, entrusts the two roles to a baritone and a female pianist and sensitively “stages” a compassionate immersion in the shared interiority of two people who lived separately – but are brought together retroactively on stage, thanks to the empathetic power of music.

Nicolas Vassiliou

Themelis Glynatsis

Set & costume designer:
Alexia Theodorakis

Video creation:
Marios Gampierakis
Chrysoula Korovesi

Research consultant:
Manto Malamou

Stella Kaltsou

More info…

Kris Oelbrandt: The Leading Lamb

To celebrate the restoration of the famous painting by Van Eyck ‘Het lam Gods’, composer Kris Oelbrandt was invited to write a new composition. This work, with the title ‘The Leading Lamb’, will have its world premiere on October 1 at the Sint Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent…   

Jan Christiaens (musicologist and CCV coordinator in the Diocese of Ghent) interviewed the Kris Oelbrandt about his new work

How did you react when the diocese asked you to write a composition that gives sound to the heavenly liturgy of the Lamb of God retable?

The first question I asked myself when I received this commission was: “What appeals to me in this altarpiece?” So I first tried to put aside all the familiar noises about this work of art (e.g. “What a splendour of colours!”, “Those eyes of the Lamb!”) and to look for what appealed to me in it. I discovered that I was struck by the composition: lots of people looking at an innocent – and bleeding – Lamb. The Van Eyck brothers focused on murdered innocence, and in my view, the enormous multiplicity of figures and details serves precisely to maximise the focus on that lonely lamb.

Does that perhaps explain the title of your composition, ‘The Leading Lamb’?

Indeed, this title very succinctly summarises my view of the mystery of Christ. Jesus bears his and our suffering. We are not alone in our suffering, He suffers with us and in this way He leads (with an e i) us, He draws us from the grave, He leads us to new life. Easter, Christ the King, Good Friday, the lifting up of the Cross, Ascension: all images which, as far as I am concerned, try to express this central fact. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He is the murdered innocence that, somewhere deep inside, we all suspect is the answer to our questions, that it can lead us, lead us away from the slavery of sin, towards new life.

For which instrumentation did you compose and what symbolism lies behind the various musical roles?

Originally, I conceived the music for choir and piano, but while working on it, I added a soloist, a countertenor. There is indeed symbolism, and even role-playing, behind this scoring.

The choir stands, divided into four groups, in the four corners of the cathedral: a spatial representation of the central panel of the retable. The piano stands in the middle of the space and thus fulfills the role of the Lamb, Christ. For a while I considered a cello instead of a piano – a cello is more lonely, more lyrical – but in connection with such a spatial arrangement and complicated acoustics, a solid supporting (“leading”) harmony instrument was needed.

The Ghent Altarpiece is a triptych. Has this influenced the formal structure of your composition?

Certainly! My composition is also conceived as a triptych, with three themes that are worked out one after the other: the Lamb as sacrifice, the Lamb as victor and the new heaven and the new earth. While designing the composition, I began to balk at the third theme, the new heaven and the new earth. I wanted it to sound really new. That’s why I introduced a soloist, just for that third part, and a voice that always sounds new to me: a countertenor.

You chose the texts for your composition in consultation with the ‘Lamb of God’ project group from the diocese and the cathedral. What (theological) accents appear in the text?

The project group provided a solid theological framework. From the well-known Isaiah text about the suffering servant (Is 53), it goes via hymns and doxologies from the book of Revelation to the vision of a world at peace (Revelation 21 and Is 25). In other words: first we dwell on someone who does not fight back, but bears his suffering. Then we sing the praise of that suffering servant, precisely because we have come to understand in that meditation that that is our salvation. And when our song of praise is complete, God’s peace can come down to the whole world.

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