Composing for city or countryside
Forward-thinking speakers working in the arts – and with the arts – will discuss a variety of topics. One example: what does it mean to be assigned as the official composer of a city? In the Dutch province of Brabant, several ‘city composers’ write new music for and with their towns of residence. And there is even an officially assigned composer for the countryside! In this panel talk, Angela de Weijer, Mathijs Leeuwis, Bart de Vrees en Piet-Jan van Rossum will discuss perspectives and approaches, as well as the many questions that come up while working in public service.
Piet-Jan van Rossum (countryside composer Brabant province, NL)
He studied composition with Louis Andriessen, Jan Boerman, Dick Raaymakers and Peter-Jan Wagemans, as well as the organ with Rienk Jiskoot.
Van Rossum above all directs his attention to composing and writing. In his own words: “I look upon myself as a storyteller, as a member of an ancient tribe of shy, wild people who, through stories, sometimes succeed to create another way of experiencing time. My work comprises life as I live it: a piece of wood full of splinters, chunks of beauty and the fracturing or lack of it: lots of waiting, silences. This explains my fascination with scratched movies, lazy eyes, a broken voice, old gramophone-records, growing old. It’s all about looking for a novel beauty in the corrosion of an old (sound)world.”
With some artists he has built a special relationship, people who are devoted to quality and adventure; visual artist Petra van der Schoot, pianist Reinier van Houdt, percussionist Arnold Marinissen, the Ives ensemble and Lunapark. Together with Van der Schoot he founded his own music theatre company: Zoogdier.
Bart de Vrees (city composer ‘s-Hertogenbosch, NL)
De Vrees studied composition and (classical) percussion at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. In 2001 he graduated percussion tweede fase and in 2007 he finished his composition studies.
De Vrees holds a unique position within the Dutch cultural field, working with both traditional (acoustic) instruments/voices and with new media such as (live) electronics and video. His work is a constant search to integrate or desintegrate music, sound, words, movement, theatre, visual arts and new media. For many years he has collaborated with a large number of artists from all kinds of artistic disciplines and styles.
Angela de Weijer (city composer Meierijstad, NL)
I work as an audiovisual artist, composer, dj and producer of multidisciplinary experiences. In my output I aim to encourage different listening to and thinking about the world as we know it.
As a maker, I’m a hybrid between detective and hunter, where I tend to maneuver myself into phenomenological research on sound and sonic perception. The world is more interesting when allowing space for magic realism and wild what-if questions! I enjoy flirting with speculative, ritual and pseudo-scientific ingredients in subject matter scoped between fuckin large (nationwide sonic performance) or very tiny (sound for imagination).
At the moment I am working as Artistic Developer at Intro in Situ and as the city composer of Meierijstad. Thanks to Impulsgelden I currently have the opportunity to transform my artistic practice to incorporate music and composition more permanently. Earlier, I wrote a swan song for all the Dutch air raid sirens and played around with matter and infinite sound. I’d be happy to disrupt your sensorial input for a while, if you’re prepared to forget what you know.
moderator: Co de Kloet (creative catalyst, radio host NTR, NL)
Co (1959) is a musician, composer, producer, and radio personality who works for Dutch public broadcaster NTR and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Known in the trade as the “Creative Catalyst,” he also runs his own media company, called Zivasound. He lives with his wife and two children in Kortenhoef, a tiny village in Holland that a famous painter once described as the center of the world.
Photo: Angela de Weijer