With Light Trace the Catchpenny Ensemble from The Hague, one of the Gaudeamus Award Ensembles this year, takes you on an intriguing journey in which the audience is immersed in sound, light and video. In an intense black-and-white world, thin, penetrating tones alternate with sharp flickering lights and a hypnotic video projection…
“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.
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.
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.
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).