Ig Henneman

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She is a composer/performer and bandleader in the international world of Creative Music. Self-taught composer Ig Henneman received some years of coaching by Dutch composer Robert Heppener.

Henneman is a musician of striking individuality who is acknowledged internationally as a composer/performer and bandleader. Henneman has written for orchestras, big bands, ensembles, various solo pieces, and numerous pieces for her own improvising groups. She has also composed soundtracks for film and theater. As a composer/improviser on viola she toured extensively over the world and received abundant praise for the musicianship as well as the innovative compositions.
Henneman played in several symphony orchestras before co-founding the legendary rockband FC Gerania in 1977, which performed her first compositions. One of her early works is the soundtrack to the 1927 silent movie Baby Ryazanskye by Olga Preobrazhenskaya.
Grants and commissions were given her by the Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst, the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, the Dutch Ministry of Culture, the Fonds voor de Amateurkunst en de Podiumkunsten, Performing Arts Fund NL, Bas Klarinet Festijn 2016.

Since the nineties the music of the Russian composers Galina Ustvolskaya en Sofia Gubaidulina has been an inspiration for Henneman, who is attracted by the extremes of the former’s structural severity and the latter’s improvisational freedom, also to be found in the work of the Hungarian composer György Kurtág. However, her influences are wide ranging and include jazz and pop music as well.

(…) The music Henneman creates is indescribable. Contrary, dissonant, always changing shape. (…) It’s music without a home.  (…) you hear how imagination works. Something lodges in your brain like a germ cell – Schubert, Ustvolskaya, a sound, a rhythm – and haunts you until it flows out in an uncontrolled zigzag movement, jerking and bumpy; or on a fast ride, interrupted on the way or thrown off course by the counter forces of yet other objets trouvés that have developed their own dynamic in the stream of consciousness. A journey like that yields a pseudo anarchic genesis, avoiding discipline and without destination, full of side paths among which the free spirit can always see an exit. This is music of resistance and you hear what resonates in it: contrariness, curiosity, a healthy avant-garde mentality that, against all current notions of beauty, also just happens to soothe the soul. (Bas van Putten)

Her compositions have been widely played by, amongst others, Ivo Janssen, Godelieve Schrama, Diamanda la Berge Dramm, Erica Dicker (USA), Elisabeth Smalt, Dana Jessen (USA), Marjanne Kweksilber, the Residentie Orchestra, Metropole Orchestra, David Kweksilber Big Band, Instabile Orchestra (IT), the Nieuw Ensemble and by her own improvising groups. The compositions for her improvising groups are documented in Henneman’s own management and record label Wig.

As a composer, she usually works closely with the performers to bridge the gap between composition and performance as far as possible.
Photo © Francesca Patella

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