ANGER TO ANGUISH

An energetic piece for the MAAT saxophone quartet, as part of their concert programme ‘no one is too small’, about climate denialism and what we can do against it.

The MAAT saxophone quartet, winner of the Dutch Classical Talent Award, gave out this commission to write an energetic piece about the anger one feels when thinking about climate change. The 8″ piece is played alongside other new compositions in their concert programme, touring throughout 2024.

IN VIVID COLOR

Five miniatures for the ADAM Quartet, that give a sound to five different colors.

In Vivid Color is a collage of five miniatures written for the string quartet ADAM in 2022, with one goal: each piece needs to sound like a certain color. Much like synesthesia, the idea is that it invokes the blending of senses.

An animated symphony film in which the music dictates the storyline, written for Asko | Schönberg.

 

The film Small World started off as an orchestral score. The starting point of this collaboration was that film director Casper Braat would make a storyboard based on what he hears in the 20″ piece.

In the beginning of 2022, I wrote an orchestral piece for the ensemble Asko | Schönberg. The premise of the project was simple: to give younger audiences an appealing way to ‘follow’ modern orchestral music in a film setting. I wanted the score to be rich in contrasts and be short-segmented, as I figured this would benefit the flow of the film. I drew inspiration from Stravinsky and Bernstein in this piece.

So the idea of ‘reversed fim-scoring’ was born: in ‘Small World’, the storyline dictates the flow of the movie. Director Casper Braat worked together with animator Gideon van der Stelt in making a film starring Josh the Mouse, who is an actual mouse. During the film, Josh gets into all kinds of crazy adventures.

The film premiered during the Grachtenfestival 2022 in Amsterdam, in the Eye Film Museum, under the baton of Clark Rundell.

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'... with beautiful cross-connections and thematic links. Surprisingly well-arranged for the seventeen musicians of Asko | Schönberg.'

**** - Trouw, august 15th 2022

HET TOESLAGENSCHANDAAL

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A composition for five reed players and sampler about the biggest Dutch political scandal of the decade.

The Childcare Benefits Scandal is a huge political scandal in the Netherlands. Two national newspapers shed a light on the Dutch tax authority falsely accusing thousands of parents as fraudulent for years, forcing them to repay fictional debts, often surmounting to tens of thousands of euro’s and ultimately culminating in kids being placed out of their homes, divorces and even suicides. It was later unearthed that the tax authority had acted on racist policy.

In 2022, I was granted the Keep an Eye Production Prize to write a composition about this, which would premiere at the Wonderfeel Festival. With this help, I was able to write protest music using voice samples of the politicians responsible and the politicians who helped bring this to justice, Renske Leijten and Pieter Omtzigt. I drew inspiration from Steve Reich’s Different Trains, which also has a socio-political angle.

Leading up to the premiere the performance was widely picked up in national media, as this scandal is still very much active. Mrs. Leijten and mr. Omtzigt were both present at the premiere and they received the first prints of the score, which was dedicated to the both of them.

I wrote the 31 minute piece on nothing but anger and coffee.

GROWTH

An immersive audio composition for an exhibition questioning the concept of growth at the Malmö Museer in Sweden

Growth is an omnipresent thing, but should it always be the goal? In ‘Growth’, lead exhibition designer Lucandrea Baraldi sheds a light on the many ways we can look at growth, drawing inspiration from nature, but also from building structures and beckoning cats.

In the beginning of 2022, I was asked by exhibition design agency KossmanndeJong to help out in making a composition for this 7-piece exhibition. I decided I wanted the whole thing to sound like 7 separate compositions, but sit in the exhibition space as if it were one whole composition. Every ten minutes, a musical cue would be synched in all compositions, making known that the 7 pieces are actually all linked.

Technically, this created some hurdles. Together with technician Daan van der Spek, we set out to build 7 separate music sources, using speakers and raspberry pi’s connected to one dedicated WiFi-spot. Each source played it’s own music file (c.q. composition), but because of the WiFi-linkage we could make sure the cue would be in synch across all seven speakers.

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MARS:

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A composition about humanity’s upcoming journey to the Red Planet. About human curiosity, hardship and the future.

In 2019, I was approached by the Grachtenfestival Amsterdam to become their New Maker (‘Nieuwe Maker‘), which meant I’d collaborate together with the festival for the next two years, making one production each year. MARS: was the first one, premiering in theatre the Meervaart in Amsterdam in august 2021.

A musical odyssey to the fourth planet, in which the human urge to discover is a central theme. A rocket launch, a months-long journey in an enclosed capsule and the loneliness of an existence on a dead planet. What remains of our humanity, tucked in between all this technology? Why do we even want to do this? And what will our music sound like on Mars?

8 horn players, 3 singers, piano, bass, vibraphone and drums, supported by a visual artist take the audience on their journey and give a musical ode to an historic event, before it has even happened.

Libretto by Frank Siera

Visuals by Bas ten Berge

'music like a mighty stroke of lightning in the universe'

**** - Trouw, august 19th 2021