Interactive Scores for Conceptual Insight

By creating live processed interactive scores to improve communication with performers, I try to achieve an alternative performance practice that transforms the musician into a performer with complete insight into the work. I initiated this series toward the end of my PhD research (2015-2019). The output of this research shows how I, as a composer, distance myself from my position so that I can reflect critically. This method broadens my work environment and becomes a source of inspiration for the composition process. Techniques and methods have to be reinvented each time, and each composition taps into new resources. In my thesis, I concluded that this way of working creates space for performers to gain insight into the compositional process and structures. 

As part of my current residency with Ensemble Klang, I developed computer-generated interactive scores; it is a game between the performers and the score. The performers are invited to my compositional adventure through alternative music notation. I will discuss three compositions: Vanishing point (2022), Nomad (2021), and Roulette (2020). My compositional adventures also bring challenges, I continuously experiment with technology and music notation, and therefore every new composition is a bit unstable. However, I see this as a positive result of the process; the ensemble is now required to rehearse with another attitude, we communicate more, and the performers develop innovative ways to engage with the compositional systems. 

Maya Verlaak (Ghent, 1990) is a Belgian composer who is also active as a performer, curator, and teacher. Her music appears on NMC Recordings (Next Wave, 2014), Birmingham Record Company (Tape Piece, 2020), and Another Timbre (All English Music is Greensleeves, 2020). Maya is a founding member of the Post-Paradise concert series (UK/NL) and is currently a member of iii (Instrument Inventor’s Initiative) in The Hague.
Maya studied composition with a minor in Sonology at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague. In 2019 she was awarded a PhD from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (Birmingham City University, UK), funded by the AHRC Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership. She has been a principal composition teacher at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam since 2018.