At the request of ‘Orkest van het Oosten’ and Ed Spanjaard Wilbert Bulsink wrote a new composition. Bulsink (Doetinchem, 1983) is one of the most prominent composers of his generation and is also teaching composition at the ArteZ Conservatory in Zwolle…
During the composition process for ‘Spelingen‘, Bulsink worked on new and unusual harp techniques in close collaboration with soloist Miriam Overlach. The title refers to differences in tuning and the interactions with new sounds.
Spelingen consists of four movements that smoothly merge into each other. In the first part, Bulsink worked on high overtones on low bass strings. During improvisations Miriam Overlach developed a special technique to bring these tones to sound. Bulsink mapped the tones and shaped them into a soft microtonal work with small differences in intonation, where the orchestra is challenged to play softer than soft to shadow the sounds of the harp.
The second part deals with high sounds that Miriam discovered by rubbing strings along a wet sponge. This raw sound is running out of hand by echoes from the orchestra and pedal-buzz answers from the harp. Part three is the result of a study method of many harpists: placing a cloth between the strings to train the timing of the fingers and to be able to hear the rhythms very precisely. These percussive harp sounds develop into a sizzling perpetuum mobile that gradually spreads over the entire orchestra and dances between the different players. The final part forms the surprising final by using ordinary harp sounds in which a complete range of harp techniques and the art of orchestration come together.
In parts two and four one can hear the German folk song‘Der Mond ist aufgegangen’, an evening song that tries to erase the fear of the dark night.