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Verlaak, Maya

All English Music is Greensleeves

Verlaak, Maya: All English Music is Greensleeves (Another Timbre)

Five fascinating works by the Belgian composer Maya Verlaak, realized by Apartment House and soloists Sarah Saviet & Mark Knoop, experimental compositions including a work of personal reflection based on "Alouette"; a conceptual game piece; a composition layering pre-recorded segments of "Greensleaves"; and two interactive acoustic & computer pieces.
 

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Label: Another Timbre
Catalog ID: at164
Squidco Product Code: 29860

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: UK
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Tracks 1, 3 and 5 recorded at St Paul's Hall, Huddersfield, in January, 2020, by Simon Reynell .

Track 2 recorded at Studio 4, Telegraph Hill, in London, in February, 2020, by Simon Reynell .

Track 4 recorded at Brockley, in London, in September, 2020, by Mark Knoop.


Personnel:

Maya Verlaak-composer, amplified music box, electronics

Apartment House-Ensemble

Sarah Saviet-violin

Mark Knoop-piano

Anton Lukoszevieze-cello

Gordon Mackey-violin

Philip Thomas-piano

Heather Roche-clarinet

Laetita Stot-horn

Simon Limbrick-glockenspiel

Mira Benjamin-violin

Bridget Carey-viola

Emma Williams-flute

Chloe Abbott-sandpaper

Colin Frank-sandpaper

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Artist Biographies:

"London based pianist and conductor Mark Knoop is known for his fearless performances and individual interpretations. He has commissioned and premièred countless new works and worked with many respected composers including Michael Finnissy, Joanna Bailie, Bryn Harrison, Bernhard Lang, Matthew Shlomowitz, Jennifer Walshe and Steven Kazuo Takasugi. His versatile technique and virtuosity also brings fresh approaches to the standard and 20th-century repertoire.

Mark performs regularly throughout Europe, the United Kingdom and Australia and in New Zealand, South Korea, Mongolia, United States of America, Canada and at festivals including Transit (Leuven), Ultima (Oslo), Huddersfield, London Contemporary Music Festival, Borealis (Bergen), Spor (Århus), Athelas (Copenhagen), and MaerzMusik (Berlin).

He performs with various ensembles including Plus-Minus (London/Brussels) and Apartment House (London), and has conducted EXAUDI (London), Scenatet (Denmark), and London Sinfonietta. His recordings of music by John Cage, Richard Beaudoin, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Peter Ablinger, and David Lumsdaine have been critically acclaimed."

-Mark Knoop Website (http://www.markknoop.com/home)
4/19/2021

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"Cellist Anton Lukoszevieze (born 1965 in the UK) is one of the most diverse performers of his generation and is notable for his performances of avant-garde, experimental and improvised music. Anton has given many performances at numerous international festivals throughout Europe and the USA (Maerzmusik, Donaueschingen, Wien Modern, GAS, Transart, Ultima, etc.etc.). He has also made frequent programmes and broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, Danish Radio, SR2, Sweden, Deutschland Rundfunk, WDR, Germany and ORT, Austria. Deutschlandfunk, Berlin produced a radio portrait of him in September, 2003. Anton has also performed concerti with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the 2001 Aldeburgh festival and the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated with many composers and performers including David Behrman, Alvin Lucier, Amnon Wolman, Pierre Strauch, Rytis Mazulis, Karlheinz Essl, Helmut Oehring, Christopher Fox, Philip Corner, Alvin Curran, Phill Niblock and Laurence Crane, He is unique in the UK through his use of the curved bow (BACH-Bogen), which he is using to develop new repertoire for the cello. From 2005-7 he was New Music Fellow at Kings College, Cambridge and Kettles Yard Gallery. Anton is the subject of four films (FoxFire Eins) by the renowned artist-filmmaker Jayne Parker. A new film Trilogy with compositions by Sylvano Bussotti, George Aperghis and Laurence Crane premieres at The London Film Festival, October 2008. In November will premiere a new hour long work by Christopher Fox for cello and the vocal ensemble Exaudi commissioned by the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and will also present new solo works for cello and live electronics. Anton is also active as an artist, his work has been shown in Holland (Lux Nijmegen), CAC, Vilnius, Duisburg (EarPort), Austria, (Sammlung Essl), Wien Modern, The Slade School of Art, Kettles Yard Gallery, Cambridge Film Festival and Rational Rec. London. His work has been published in Musiktexte, Cologne, design Magazine and the book SoundVisions (Pfau-Verlag, Saarbrucken, 2005). Anton Lukoszevieze is founder and director of the ensemble Apartment House, a member of the radical noise group Zeitkratzer and recently made his contemporary dance debut with the Vincent Dance Company in Broken Chords, Dusseldorf."

-Kalvos Damian (http://www.kalvos.org/lukosze.html)
4/19/2021

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"Philip Thomas (b.1972, North Devon) specialises in performing new and experimental music, including both notated and improvised music. He places much emphasis on each concert being a unique event, designing imaginative programmes that provoke and suggest connections.

He is particularly drawn to the experimental music of John Cage, Morton Feldman and Christian Wolff, and composers who broadly work within a post-Cageian aesthetic. In recent years he has been particularly associated with the music of Christian Wolff, giving the world premiere of his Sailing By in 2014 and Small Preludes in 2009, the UK premiere of Long Piano (Peace March 11), having co-edited and contributed to the first major study of Wolff's music, Changing the System: the Music of Christian Wolff, published by Ashgate Publications in 2010, and currently recording all of Wolff's solo piano music for sub rosa. He is an experienced performer of John Cage's music, having performed the Concert for piano and orchestra with both Apartment House and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company as well as most of the solo piano and prepared piano music, including a unique 12-hour performance of Electronic Music for piano

He has commissioned new works from a number of British composers whose ideas, language and aesthetic have been informed in some ways by the aforementioned American composers, such as Stephen Chase, Laurence Crane, Richard Emsley, Christopher Fox, Bryn Harrison, John Lely, Tim Parkinson, Michael Parsons, and James Saunders.

In recent years Philip has pursued a passion for freely improvised music, after significant encounters with the music of AMM and Sheffield-based musicians Martin Archer, Mick Beck and John Jasnoch. He has worked with improvisers in a variety of contexts and recently devised a programme of composed music by musicians more normally known as improvisers as well as others who have been influenced by improvisation in some form. This led to a CD release, Comprovisation, which featured newly commissioned works by Mick Beck, Chris Burn and Simon H Fell. Other CD releases include music by Martin Arnold, Laurence Crane, Christopher Fox, Jürg Frey, Bryn Harrison, Tim Parkinson, Michael Pisaro, James Saunders, Christian Wolff, as well as with improvisers Chris Burn and Simon H Fell.

Philip is a regular pianist with leading experimental music group Apartment House, with whom he has performed in festivals across the UK and Europe. He has also performed with the Quatuor Bozzini, and in duos with Mark Knoop, Ian Pace and John Tilbury (piano duet and two pianos) and James Saunders (electronics).

In 1998 Philip was awarded a PhD from Sheffield University in the performance practice of contemporary piano music. Between 2000 and 2005, he was Head of the Sheffield Music School whilst pursuing an active performing and teaching career. He joined the staff team at the University of Huddersfield in 2005, and became Professor of Performance in 2015. Philip is one of the Directors of CeReNeM, the University's Centre for Research in New Music. He continues to live in Sheffield, where he premieres the majority of his programmes, with his wife Tiffany and children Naomi and Jack."

-Philip Thomas Website (http://www.philip-thomas.co.uk/biog.html)
4/19/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Born in Canada, clarinetist Heather Roche trained in England, lived in Germany for 7 years and now lives in London.

She has performed at some of the major European festivals, including musikFest (Berlin), BachFest (Leipzig), Musica Nova (Helsinki), Acht Brücken (Cologne), the International Computer Music Conference (Huddersfield, Ljubljana), the Dias de Música Electroacústica (Seia, Portugal) and the Agora Festival (Ircam, Paris). She has also performed solo programmes at the Zagreb Music Biennale, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the New York Electroacoustic Symposium, at CIRMMT (Montreal), Unerhörte Musik (Berlin), Eavesdropping (London), and with the Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre (BEAST).

She has performed with ensembles and orchestras including Musik Fabrik (Cologne), the WDR Orchestra (Cologne), mimitabu (Gothenburg), the London Symphony Orchestra (London), ensemble Garage (Cologne), ensemble interface (Berlin), the Riot Ensemble (London), the Alisios Camerata (Zagreb), and ensemble proton (Bern). She also plays across the UK in a trio with Carla Rees (flutes) and Xenia Pestova (piano) and in 2015 formed an duo with the accordionist Eva Zöllner, with whom she has played across Germany, the UK and in Portugal. She is a founding member of hand werk, a 6-person chamber music ensemble based in Cologne, and worked with the group from 2010-2017.

She has solo CDs out on the HCR/NMC and Métier labels. Please see the Discography for further details.

In 2014 she was awarded a DIVA (Danish International Visiting Artists Fellowship), and lived in Copenhagen for two months.

Since 2016 she has acted as the Reviews Editor for TEMPO, a quarterly journal for contemporary music published by Cambridge University Press.

Her website is host to one of the most widely read new music blogs on the Internet. In 2017 it had 75,000 hits from around the world. She successfully crowdfunded in 2014 in order to host her first composition competition. Six young composers were chosen out of 270 applicants to write new pieces, which were premiered in 2016.

She is a fervent advocate of collaboration, and her PhD research at the University of Huddersfield (under the supervision of Dr. Philip Thomas) explored the nature of dialogue within performer-composer relationships. She has given workshops in instrumental technique and/or iPad use in performance all over Europe, for example in London, Munich and Copenhagen.

Heather completed her Masters of Music (Orchestral Training) in 2006 at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, studying under Joy Farrall and Laurent Ben Slimane, in addition to conducting with Sian Edwards. Following her degree she completed residencies with the International Ensemble Modern Academy, at IMPULS in Graz and with ensemble recherche in Freiburg, the Darmstadt Summer Courses 2008 and 2010 and the International Ensemble Modern Academy in Innsbruck, Austria. She has performed in masterclasses with Michael Collins, Ernesto Molinari and Shizuyo Oka, to name a few. She completed her BMus in 2005 at the University of Victoria, Canada, studying under Patricia Kostek."

-Heather Roche Website (https://heatherroche.net/about/)
4/19/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Simon Limbrick's involvement in music embraces performance, composing and education.

He was a member of the cult systems orchestra The Lost Jockey and Man Jumping, recording for EG Editions and creating scores for leading dance companies, Second Stride, London Contemporary Dance, Rosemary Lee and Sue MacLennan. He has been in demand as a percussionist performing all over the world with the Nash Ensemble, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Endymion Ensemble, Composers' Ensemble and Fibonacci Sequence as well as recording with artists such as Alabama3, Gavin Bryars Pete Lockett and for Blue Note Records. He has been guest principal with the LSO and worked under conductors, Leonard Bernstein, Oliver Knussen, Simon Rattle and Tom Ades. He has featured on film and television including documentaries about Steve Reich and Kenneth MacMillan's award winning Judas Tree.Compositions created for him include works by Javier Alvarez, Brian Elias (Kenneth MacMillan's last ballet The Judas Tree), Vic Hoyland and Andrew Poppy. He has performed the world-premieres of solo pieces by James Dillon, Frederic Rzewski , Claude Vivier, Philip Cashian, Thea Musgrave, Harry de Wit, Howard Skempton, Michael Wolters and Ed Kelly. His solo performances have been broadcast by the BBC, RAI, Radio France, Dutch TV and radio.

Recently, he performed his own concerto Bulls Yard and Stockhausen's Zyklus at the Sage, Gateshead,(see review) solo steel-pan in Brian Elias' Judas Tree at Royal Opera House, London, in 2010 and directed his mixed-media project, dot-machine, a web-based musical construction accessible on www.marimbo.com. He created a 24 hour long piece surfaces with the composer James Saunders, with financial assistance from the Arts Council of Great Britain and premiered at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2011.

In education, Simon has led workshops since 1982, and been a returning resident artist in festivals and organisations, including Blackheath Concert Halls, Aldeburgh Music, Sound It Out , Spitalfields Festival. Workshop projects have been led by him throughout Europe. As a fully-qualified teacher, he has led Music and Performing Arts in Secondary Schools for five years. He has led school and community projects for Aldeburgh Music. As Artistic Director, he helped establish In Harmony Norwich, creating mixed-ability orchestral pieces for professional and young student players. Until the School of Music closed in June 2014, he was Director of 'Musician in the Community' and 'Creative Leadership' courses at University of East Anglia.



As a composer, Simon has gained an MA in Electroacoustic Composition from City University and collaborated as a composer on a number of large scale works, including a project at Fort Dunlop, Birmingham, with Rosemary Lee and site-specific work with Dutch composer/sound sculptor Harry de Wit in Holland and Brussels.He has produced film scores for TV and film festivals and composed music for theatre productions at the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Companies. Groups he has created pieces for include Mary Wiegold's Songbook, Roger Heaton Group, Ensemble Bash, Network of Sparks, Endymion Ensemble, Richard Durrant, Ritmatic, Hooloo. The Brighton Youth Orchestra performed machina lumina , for string ensemble and vibraphone throughout 2009. His composition Machine for Living for Landesmusikrat/Splash was recorded at Deutschlandradio. He has produced recordings for wergo and others.Currently composing a large piece for jazz brass and marimba.

He has created the CDs, Steam, Hooloo, Clean, Ritmatik, Dot-Machine, Hammer, Rise and Fall, , between and Relay, which are frequently broadcast and available on well-known download sites. NEW RELEASE of a double CD RELAY, of contemporary steel-pan music in Sept 2014. Sound Composer for the film 3 Church Walk by the director Emily Richardson premiered on 18th Oct 2014 at The London Festival, BFI, London."

-Simon Limbrick Website (http://www.marimbo.com/cv.html)
4/19/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Mira Benjamin is a Canadian violinist, researcher and new-music instigator.

She performs new and experimental music, with a special interest in microtonality & tuning practice. She actively commissions music from composers at all stages of their careers, and develops each new work through multiple performances. Current collaborations include new works by Anna Höstman, Scott McLaughlin, Amber Priestley, Taylor Brook and James Weeks.

Since 2011, Mira has co-directed NU:NORD - a project-based music and performance network which instigates artistic exchanges and encourages community building between music creators from Canada, Norway & the UK. To date NU:NORD has engaged 79 artists and commissioned 62 new works. Through this initiative, Mira hopes to offer a foundation from which Canadian artists can reach out to artistic communities overseas, and provide a conduit through which UK & Norwegian artists can access Canada's rich art culture.

Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Mira lived for ten years in Montréal, where she was a member of Quatuor Bozzini. Since 2014 she has resided in London (UK), where she regularly performs with ensembles such as Apartment House, Decibel, and the London Contemporary Orchestra Soloists, and is currently the Duncan Druce Scholar in Music Performance at the University of Huddersfield.

Mira is the recipient of the 2016 Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts. The prize is awarded annually to a Canadian musician in recognition of their contribution to the artistic life in Canada and internationally."

-St. Martin in the Field Website (http://mirabenjamin.com/about/)
4/19/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Bridget Carey studied jointly at the Royal Academy of Music and London University and has pursued a varied freelance career based in London, and has developed a particular reputation in the field of new music.

For 15 years she premiered new chamber opera for the Almeida, whilst working in dance scores with Siobhan Davies and Rambert companies, classical contemporary with Opus 20 and Music Projects/London and new complexity with Ensemble Expose. From 1995-2005 she was viola player with the Kreutzer string quartet. More recently, her chamber music interests include Okeanos and the RPS award-winning experimental music group Apartment House, with whom she continues to add to her chamber music discography. She has been a member of Britten Sinfonia for the last 20 years, and is a regular guest with London Sinfonietta and BCMG, among others."

-Okeanos Website (http://okeanos.co.uk/wp/?page_id=1017)
4/19/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Chloë Abbott is a British trumpet player, musician and curator. She is the first ever female trumpeter to be cast as 'Michael' in Stockhausen's Licht, for performances of Luzifer's Tanz in The Holland Festival 2019.

Chloë has recorded a CD for the label Another Timbre with the UK-based group, Apartment House; recorded for the BBC with Music We'd Like to Hear and An Assembly, performed the solo part in Richard Ayres' 'Noncerto 31; played in a musical pilgrimage with the 'Trumpets aus Licht' at Klangspuren; collaborated closely with contemporary choreographer Sze Chan as part of a movement and sound exploration called WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), performed with Ensemble Modelo62, and worked with various London-based new music collectives. Recent performances in 2017/18 include being selected to join the Ulysses Ensemble at Ircam's Manifeste Academy, Aldeburgh Music, Voix Nouvelles Academy at the Royaumont Foundation and collaboration with IEMA as well as workshops and open spaces at Darmstadt Ferienkurse 2018. In these projects she has worked with conductors and composers such as Beat Furrer, Helmut Lachenmann, Lucas Vis, Peter Rundel, Heinz Holliger, Jean-Philippe Wurtz, Rebecca Saunders and Milica Djorjevic.

She also both performed in and curated a contemporary concert day at the Musique Cordiale Festival in southern France in August 2017.

She graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2015, she completed both an MMus and BMus Hons. She studied under John Kenny, Noel Langley, Paul Cosh, Paul Beniston, Steve Keavy and Will O'Sullivan. Whilst at Guildhall Chloë was also a Britten-Pears Young Artist during 2014 and 2017. She has begun further studies at Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag, on the unique new music course - Master Aus Licht - studying intensely with Marco Blauuw, focusing primarily on Stockhausen repertoire, but also covering a wide range of new and recent repertoire for the trumpet.

Chloë has performed in masterclasses with Hakan Hardenberger, Thierry Caens, Tine

Thing Helseth, David Blackadder, Alison Balsom, Patrick Harrild and Philip Cobb. She has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, The Tallis Society, London Handel Society, London Arts Orchestra and Jersey Chamber Orchestra in venues such as Dutch National Opera House, Centquatre, TivoliVredenburg, Cafe Oto, Centre Pompidou, Barbican Hall, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, The Place and LSO St Lukes, playing both baroque, classical and new contemporary repertoire for trumpet."

-Chloe Abbott Website (https://www.chloeabbott.com/about)
4/19/2021

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"Colin Frank (CAN/UK) experiments with sound, electronics, theatre, and percussive instruments. In attempting to blur delineations between composer, performer, improviser, and technician his practice perpetually mutates: narrowly focusing then sprawling chaotically. His art investigates excess, pushing the body to physical extremes, barely controllable instruments, and rich, raw noises.

He has most notably performed in the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK), Berlin's CTM festival (DE), the Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (DE), Electric Springs (UK), SoundThought (UK), PAS Quebec Days (CAD), and the Oorsprong curators series (NL). His specialism performing live-electronic concert music has brought him to present in the Birmingham Electro-Acoustic Sound Theatre (UK) and the Huddersfield Immersive Sound System (UK). He has performed within theatre troupe Gods Entertainment (AT), improvised with the Sonology Electroacoustic Ensemble (NL), and is a core member of the Drift Ensemble (UK). His instrumental and acousmatic compositions have been presented by TAK Ensemble (US), The Red Note Ensemble (UK), Lights Out Listening Group (UK), and Framework Radio (online).

He studied performance and composition at McGill University, sound at the Institute of Sonology (NL), composition at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (DE) and SoundSCAPE (IT), and performance at Nief-Norf Summer Festival (US) and SICPP (US). He is currently studying contemporary performance practice through a research PhD at The University of Huddersfield (UK). He enjoys teaching improvisation, cycling, camping, traveling, and good home cooking."

-Colin Frank Website (http://www.colinfranksounding.com/about/)
4/19/2021

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track listing:


1. Lark 09:14

2. Formation de Sarah 08:03

3. All English Music is Greensleeves 10:29

4. Formation de Mark 10:33

5. Song and Dance 15:10
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

Another Timbre Interview with Maya Verlaak

Can you tell us a bit about your background, and how you came to experimental music?

I'm from Belgium and grew up in the city of Ghent. Even though my parents aren't musicians, I have always been, as far as I remember, attracted to making music and performing. Schools did not offer music lessons but luckily the evening music schools in Ghent were really good and very well subsidised. When I was 13 years old I was extremely lucky to end up in the class of Marc Maes. Every Thursday evening he was supposed to teach me piano accompaniment, he however noticed my interest in composition and started teaching me composition instead. He had often worked with Karlheinz Stockhausen and was the perfect person to trigger my curiosity in the world of (experimental) contemporary music. When I became 18, Marc suggested that I study at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague in The Netherlands.

The composition department in The Hague welcomed experimental views and it wasn't difficult to find like-minded students to create an ensemble with. We supported each other a lot and spent lots of time together experimenting. To name a few of these people: Leo Svirsky, Andy Ingamells, Robert Blatt, David Pocknee, Grzegorz Marciniak, Jeremiah Runnels and Teodora Stepančić. Other composers also travelled to The Hague to work with us, for instance I remember Joseph Kudirka coming in 2011. During these years (2008 - 2012) I developed a very broad view of the possibilities within contemporary music.

The pieces on your CD all involve processes that probably aren't apparent to the listener, who doesn't have to know about the processes to enjoy the music. But can you say something about 'Lark', first of all. What is it based on, and how does it work?

I'm using the double meaning of 'Lark', as in 'escapade', but also as the English translation of the French 'Alouette'. Alouette is a children's song and I remember having it in a music box and listening to it every evening. I found some old cassettes with recordings of myself as 4-year-old, improvising songs. In 2013 I became curious about these improvised melodies and started to transcribe them. I realised that all the melodies were in some way inspired by the song, Alouette, which makes complete sense as it was one of my only musical reference points at the time.

With 'Lark' I tried to search for the lost simplicity and innocence I can hear in my songs on the cassettes. What is it like to create music when your only reference point is just one song? The score of Lark involves performing very simple single notes, however always in reference to the sound of the music box. The music box is both a conductor and a harmonic reference point.

'All English Music is Greensleeves' is a striking and provocative title. What does it refer to, and what is going on in the music?

In 2013 I became a student at Birmingham Conservatoire in the UK. My teacher in The Hague, Gilius Van Bergeijk, had warned me that the contemporary music scene in the UK is quite different from what I knew in The Netherlands. He joked that all English composers ever do, is rewrite Greensleeves over again. I had never heard of Greensleeves before so I looked it up and also discussed the joke with my new teachers in Birmingham, Howard Skempton and Michael Wolters. At the same time, I was told about the very good sight-reading practice among UK musicians, and that they would never practice at home because they are so expert at sight-reading. Thinking about this, I started questioning the nature of the musical score in general, and asked myself the question, what if the notes on the score aren't the pitches musicians should play to hear the music, but the pitches that make them stop playing the music? The "music" is variations on Greensleeves pre-recorded by each instrument in the ensemble. The notes on the musicians' score parts are pitches that may or may not stop the pre-recorded music that is being played back through tactile speakers on the instruments.

As a result there are two sounding layers, the pre-recorded music (layer 1), which is started or stopped by a computer programme and controlled by the pitches the musicians choose to play (layer 2).

And what about 'Song and Dance', which you describe on the score as 'an excessively elaborate effort to explain or justify'. What does this mean, and how does this piece work?

Composers often talk about their work in order to justify it, and when they do, they analyse it. In this piece, to directly highlight the theme of justification, I developed an idea whereby the ensemble wouldn't receive any written music from me, but instead they'd receive a written justification for the music. So they receive a musical analysis of the work, rather than a conventionally notated score. I researched the word 'justification' and stumbled across the English phrase 'to make a song and dance about something', which means 'an excessively elaborate effort to explain or justify'.' Song and dance' became the title, but also provided me with an idea of some source material: a song or a dance, or a song about a dance.

I carried out an elaborate musical analysis of the chosen source material. The musicians only see this analysis, not the source material itself. So the score consists of text instructions that result in a complex listening game. Most musicians are engaged with listening carefully to each other to establish the melodic and structural part of the analysis. Percussionists I and II perform the rhythmic part of the analysis but also have to react to the resulting melodic material. The pianist performs the harmonic analysis. The game fully relies on the concentration of the performers; in a moment of distraction, the game could get stuck.

But the musicians never know which piece I used as the source material, and a performance doesn't recreate it; instead, it recomposes it with its own analysis material. Every performance will also be a little bit different.

And finally the two 'Formation' pieces, one for violin and one for piano. What is happening here?

Formation de Sarah was the first of these two pieces and is composed for the violinist Sarah Saviet. I travelled to Berlin a couple of times to meet her and discuss ideas. These meetings developed into this set of two new works that try to accentuate the performer's methods and engagement with musical material.

Sarah reads her score from a computer. But I created a computer application that gives new performance instructions each time in reaction to what she is doing. To perform the piece and establish the desired result, she has to constantly analyse the given material afresh. The score also changes Sarah's route and gives instructions that don't fit in with her plan. So what we are listening to is Sarah's process of dissecting the musical material while she is also trying out different routes through the score in search of the desired result.

Sarah plays together with sine tones and a pre-recorded nail-violin (also played by her). My nail violin is a woodblock with 4 different nails hammered into it and then bowed with a violin bow. Each nail produced two very high-pitched notes. Sarah's role is to find the correct routes to pair the violin pitches with the nail violin pitches, as if the nail sounds are harmonics of the violin sound. However, the computerised score is constantly pushing her in different directions so that each time she has to find a new route in the hope the computer score reacts in her favour.

The compositional process for Formation de Mark started with recording an untrained singer singing the pitches C, D, E, G, A, B (she sings them as do, re, mi, sol, la, si). She was asked to sing each pitch until it was correct, and then to continue the process with the next pitch. She wasn't given a starting pitch; her only reference is a computer voice, which in response to her singing, names the actual pitch she is singing. She doesn't know the theory of musical intervals and so doesn't have any context. I recorded her process and implanted it into a computer application. In a similar way as in Sarah's piece, in Formation de Mark Mark Knoop is guided by a computer application and is searching for routes to bring each sung pitch closer to the target pitch.

While composing both pieces, I processed the material of the nail violin and the material of the untrained singer in exactly the same way. The computer score also guides the performers through similar routes. Even though the material is very different, a careful listener can hear similarities in the pieces. Both Sarah and Mark accomplish particular set goals a few times, however other material never finds its resolution. The Formation pieces have no fixed ending; the performer can stop at any moment he or she wishes.

One thing that struck me during the recording sessions is that your pieces rely on an unusual amount of good will from the performers. You are often not giving them what they usually expect to receive (a standard score), and by introducing the game elements, they could easily feel that you are trying to catch them out. It also seemed that when they are having to focus on receiving cues (whether from a computer or from the activities of other musicians), then it's hard for them to pay as much attention as usual either to the quality of their playing, or to the ensemble sound. So the pieces are challenging and disrupting their expectations in ways that could easily annoy them. Is this something you are conscious of, and are pushing on purpose?

Yes, I'm very conscious of that! I've been carefully developing my subversion methods since 2013. This was the first year that I didn't have an experimental music ensemble anymore. My composer-performer colleagues in The Hague had all gone their own ways and I became interested in implementing the things we had developed together; but how can other musicians who I'm now commissioned to write for, suddenly become equally engaged performers and co-creators?

I always ask myself a lot of questions while composing. Composing is research to me and every piece I make is hopefully a development in my practice. When I think I'm working on 'automatic pilot'; repeating a particular compositional procedure without thinking, I stop myself and question my compositional process in relation to the context. It is very important to me to share these enquiries; I therefore try to find ways of communicating my journey by making the musicians endure the same unusual journey.

Subversion has destructive connotations. However, subversion can also mean reversing a current standard: being subversive can be anything that challenges an existing system. My approach to subversion doesn't destroy current standards, but it uses the standards to create, while developing solutions to its own characteristics and problems (with a hint of humour).

A little anecdote: When I was 11 years old, the minister of transport had chosen to cycle with my primary school class through Ghent city centre to show his interest in building good cycle paths for the city. In childish innocence I asked him why he wasn't simply putting the cars on the small path on the side of the road and giving the big bit of road to the cyclists. 'NO CYCLE-PATHS BUT CAR-PATHS' was the newspaper headline the next day. This anecdote gives an example of how to create attention for a certain standard by simply reversing the situation.

Reversing a situation can result in making the performer(s) aware of my enquiries. I give insight into the compositional process in order for them to subsequently gain a complete understanding of the compositional material. This hopefully results in a committed, open-minded performance practice and, as I try to do myself, also encourages the performers to step out of an 'automatic pilot' mentality. Some musicians are interested and even relieved to be challenged in such situations; others enter into conversation with me and return the challenge back to me, which I'm happy to take.

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