Go to the New Music Arena concerts.
Go to the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ.
Never use 'I have to practice' as an excuse not to go
Over the past two years I have immersed myself in the contemporary recorder, exploring music-theatre, new chamber music and live electronics, all through working with composers.
My goal has been to explore the outer limits of what defines contemporary music, as well as my own boundaries as a creator and performer.
Linked to my approach to recorder playing, I have been using traditional English clog dance as a means for creating music-theatre. My feet become percussive instruments, and my body is a tool for expression and movement.
All the people I collaborate with. Listening to music completely different from the stuff I play. Playing instruments that can still have a huge potential to evolve.
21st Century Clogs: English clog dance as a tool for creating contemporary music-theatre
For a performing artist creating new works, one question always arises: how to most effectively communicate the intended message? Expression can be brought across through one single medium, yet may be further enhanced through the inter-disciplinary juxtapositions inherent in music-theatre.
As a source of inspiration, I have drawn upon my cultural heritage: traditional English clog dance, a hobby of mine since my teens. This is a folk-dance form from Lancashire, using wooden-soled footwear to beat out intricate percussive rhythms.
My goal has been to investigate the use of English clog dance as a tool in contemporary music-theatre, in combination with live electronics, Carnatic rhythms and improvisation. By this, I intend to place the traditional dance form in a new context, and enable the clogs to stand as a musical instrument in their own right.
Through developing two large works – WRKSHP and The Mill Song – I utilised dramatically different compositional processes and techniques, enabling me to examine the actual potential of clog dance as a medium for rhythmic innovation, sound production and theatrical communication.
These ‘pieces’ point to a larger goal: developing a new means of creative expression. I wish to ultimately conclude: can this offer something of artistic worth?
My recorder end exam opened and closed with music-theatre works created in collaboration with composers at the CvA - Anthony Leigh Dunstan and Felipe Ignacio Noriega.
I also included solo performances where the recorder stands central, in electro-acoustic works by Roderik de Man and Steve Reich.
My end exam concert also showcased three of my established ensembles:
Amsterdam Collage Ensemble - a contemporary music collective consisting of 3 recorders, 2 percussionists and bass-clarinet. We commission young composers to create new works.
aXolot - we specialise in inter-disciplinary performance art, with the recorder trio at its core, rocketing through centuries of repertoire and exempt from genre.
duo nasa - we combine the recorder and panflute in improvisation and early music as well as new compositions, in particular working with artists to creat improvised concerts.