Roughly 10 years ago, I was welcomed into Nadar ensemble and shortly thereafter invited to conduct the group in a tour in Russia. What a trip! Now a decade later, I once again get to stand in front of my Nadarian friends and this time to defend my PhD. With my most heartfelt I wishes, I welcome you all to attend.
Over the last seven decades, the role of the conductor has evolved in new music ensembles that perform integrated concerts. It was problematized by John Cage; doubled (or split) by Charles Ives, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Mark Applebaum; manipulated by Thierry De Mey, Simon Steen-Andersen, and Stefan Prins; instrumentalized by Alexander Schubert, Alexander Khubeev, Michael Maierhof, and Pieter Matthynssens; and deployed tactically by Serge Verstockt, Jessie Marino, and Carl Rosman. For these composers and artistic directors and others in their genre, the presence of the conductor is no secondary phenomenon of the music, by an affirmative and active choice to deploy one to meet specific artistic and/or socioeconomic needs. The systematic study of this relatively new and developing situation allowed me to find tools and methods for forming the required piece-specific performance practices with the aim of better functioning as a tactical and curated conductor.
In a program with pieces by Serge Verstockt, Alexander Khubeev, Alexander Schubert and a world premiere by Jennifer Walshe, I will seek to defend my artistic findings into the Instrumentalization of the conductor in new music ensembles.
On the occasion of the World Humanist Day, Nadar has been asked to play Stefan Prins’ awesome ‘FITTINGinSIDE’ for trombone, soundtrack, walking audience, smartphone and Zoom conference call – with yours truly on the old trombone!
In case you missed it, yesterday evening’s Odysseia concert ‘Speechless Song’ was broadcast on Klara Live. The program centers around Luc Brewaeys’ famous work for soprano and crotales, once infamously written for the Queen Elizabeth competition.
I had the pleasure of conducting this group of fantastic musicians and soloists for two of the pieces on the program, both by Brewaeys: Painted Pyramids and the ensemble version of Speechless Song.
Bravo to all involved and especially to the soloists, Lieselot De Wilde and Frederik Croene!
On Sunday at 14h (CEST) Matrix [Centre for New Music] will broadcast Mátyás Wettl’s Nocturne played by Nadar Ensemble and Thierry De Mey’s Light Music performed by Centre Henri Pousseur and me! What a cool – or should I say, hot and enlightening – program!
The lamps for Nocturne have been made by the students from the SLAC/Fine Arts Academy in Leuven. And you can get a preview of those beauties by visiting Matrix’s online exhibition here: https://matrix-new-music.be/nl/lightmusic/
This performance of Light Music represents a huge amount of work done by Xavier Meeus and Patrick Delges of Centre Henri Pousseur who have taken charge of the technical revision of the piece. They have done an incredible job. It has also been really important to my own artistic research – and it’s a ton of fun to perform!
Tomorrow is the day – our conference Framing the Normal starts tomorrow afternoon at 1 pm (CEST) with a great group of presenters. At 7 pm the incredible Dr. Håkon Stene will offer a keynote address titled, ‘Notes on Post-Instrumental Practices.’ Come check it out: https://framingthenormal.wordpress.com/
Since you are already coming for the keynote, stick around for the evening performances in which Jessie Marino’s newest piece will be premiered by the RCA Guitar Ensemble. We will also feature Winnie Huang’s Tentacles and I will perform Thierry De Mey’s Light Music.
Winnie Huang and I have put together a two-day conference featuring pieces and presentations that all ‘Frame the Normal‘. Day 2 of that conference will feature Alina Taraban & Ensemble XXI playing John Cage’s Concert for Piano and Orchestra and How to make a monster by Sivan Cohen Elias performed by the amazing Winnie Huang.
Our evening show includes short programs by Haize Lizarazu playing music by Fran MM Cabeza de Vaca and Michael Beil and Yui Sakagoshi playing her own music as well as pieces by Sergio Núñez Meneses, Chatori Shimizu and Thierry De Mey. We will close the conference with a collective performance of Ajtony Csaba’s Music for the Eyes.
Next Monday evening at 20h / 8 pm CEST we will premiere both the newly revised version of Thierry De Mey’s Light Music and Jessie Marino’s brand new piece Six to Five. Also on the program is Winnie Huang’s cool duet Tentacles.
Light Music was written in 2004, however the amazing experts at Centre Henri Pousseur have spent the last year completely re-writing the electronics, finding new ways to make it more live and performer-dependant. The piece is so much fun to perform and I am really excited to be able to show it off next week.
Melissa Portaels and Rebecca Diependaele from Matrix [Centre for New Music] came to chat during the final rehearsal week Light Music and put together this cool little preview video (in Dutch):
The RCA Guitar Ensemble and I will premiere Marino’s newest piece, titled Six to Five. Jessie has created a really cool and fresh new piece for the ensemble. Come check it out next Monday evening.
This show takes part in the evening programming of an academic conference that Winnie Huang and I have put together as part of our PhD studies at the University and Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp (ARIA). The conference is titled Framing the Normal and we are thrilled to present Håkon Stene as our Keynote speaker. All the details of the conference, including links and the schedule, can be found here: Framing the Normal.
Happy to see that Thin Air, a solo-project I did at the behest of Jelle Dierckx and Lunalia Festival, continues to resound around the world. Here is a nice write up by Gail Wein on Classic Voice North America:
This coming Thursday from 2-3 pm, Nadar will present Schubert’s Point Ones as part of Musica’s educational programming. There will be a short introduction (in Dutch) prior to the performance and an in-depth Q&A session afterwards.