Signing off Handmade Homegrown 2012-13

Signing off on Handmade Homegrown 2012/13

with curator Kate Moore

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The Handmade Homegrown concert series featured ten concerts spanning the season 2012 – 13. The concerts were conceived in response to an invitation I received from Theater Dakota to be composer in residence. This was a timely invitation because it was my tenth season in The Netherlands and the series gave me the chance to give something back to the cultural scene that has supported me over this decade. With that in mind, the decision to make ten concerts was emphasized by the passion to curate a performance space inviting local, national and international artists, composers and performers.

The concerts were setup to celebrate and promote the act of creativity. All the artists and composers involved actively seek to create new and original ideas and works. It sought to encourage camaraderie between the practitioners and audience alike in that the concert series provided a means to bring people together to meet, connect and reconnect. Each item in the series was completely new, unique and original and was chosen specifically because of its inventiveness, a quality less driven by the industry and more driven by curiosity to seek-out questions and find answers, combined with the skill of the artist to create something that has never before been seen. We hosted a number of premieres and the theater provided the perfect venue for people to realize their ideas.

The first concert was a tribute to our teacher and mentor Louis Andriessen and violinist Monica Germino who performed works by Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon, Louis Andriessen and Donnacha Dennehy. This set, introduced by Ensemble Klang, who performed one of Louis’ classic works Hout, displayed Monica’s unique virtuosity coupled with daring and intriguing electroacoustic elements provided by Frank van der Weij. The second concert involved my colleagues Juan Parra, Aslaug Holgersen and Ernst van der Loo who performed improvised sets on electronic instruments, machines and acoustic instruments including the double bass. Whilst Andrew Hamilton performed his own song playing the violin and singing simultaneously, Oscar Bettison performed a new electroacoustic piece. We were also happy to host Samuel Vriezen who performed his solo piece Within Fourths/ Within Fifths in response to Tom Johnson’s Chord Catalogue. Both pieces will be featured on his upcoming CD release.

The third concert introduced RPM Electro featuring Michaela Riener, Joey Marijs, Angelica Vazquez, Marc Kaptijn, launching our debut concert with works by Pete Harden and myself who are also members of this band. This was coupled with New York composer/ performer Chris McIntyre, performing his compositions alongside works by John Cage among others.

Stracc, on the eve of the winter solstice and alleged end of time, performed a complete set of new compositions about the subject of the end of time, including works by Florian Maier, Ana Mihajlovic, Reza Namavar and myself. The group is an amalgam of strings and accordions where the result of the two is indeed greater than the sum of its parts.

The following concert featured composer/ guitarist Ezequiel Menalled, who performed his own works composed for guitar ensemble and solo flute. Joining him was Sarah Nichols on harp and Aldo Aranda on percussion with a brand new set of compositions by Maria Alejandra Castro Espejo, Janco Verduin and Gabriela Ortiz. We were surprised and astounded when Glasgow composer John de Simone announced that he would fly his entire ensemble to The Hague to perform at the concert series and we were very happy to get to know Ensemble Thing. This concert saw the premiere of a new radio play by Aurelie Lierman, which has subsequently received an award, and from the UK, Matt Wright and Evan Parker gave us a storming, wonderful set for saxophone and electronics.

The seventh concert hosted pianist Saskia Lankhoorn, who played a set of my works. Susanna Borsch and Adrian Brown performed 17th century English ballads for concertina and recorder from their duo Dapper’s Delight.

The art collective ArtCodex joined us from Brooklyn to present a selection of their pieces including animated puppets by Mike Estabrook. The collective was resident in The Hague at Quartair exhibiting a new show Ghost Moderism. Janneke van der Putte performed a fascinating conceptual sound piece created by collecting recordings of her own voice at dawn, Fie Schouten performed classic works by Stockhausen and Rosalie Hirs, Oguz Buyuckberber performed a set of his compositions with animated film, Trio Scordatura performed brand new pieces by Christopher Fox, Marc Sabat, Anton Lukoszevieze and we were also super happy to include Carol Robinson with a stunning compositions for Birbyne and electronics.

Barbara Ellison and Nathalie Smoor performed the ritualistic and eerie Drawing Phantoms, where a circle is drawn, repeating the movement over and over again whilst the overtones drawn from the path of the pencil build up to form a ghostly whirlwind of mysterious voices and harmonies. Keir Neuringer, who evoked a deeply personal voice on the saxophone, performed his piece in memory of Esther Neuringer.

The last of the series saw a number of items in the spirit of festivity that, although completely different, were coincidentally related in that they all featured the voice. Stephanie Pan and Alison Isadora with Jan-Bas Bollen both sang songs with accompanying electronics, Taiko-drum and other instruments. Between the two sets was a short film by Vandana Jain from Artcodex with sound by Pete Harden based on samples from logos and advertisements by multinational companies, words such as “oil”, “energy” and “the environment” were pitting against each other in dangerous liaison outlining the intricately designed mandala of company logos by Jain that grew and shrank in parallel with the wealth of the companies that were represented. To conclude the entire series a new interpretation of Pierrot Lunaire by Arnold Schoenberg was performed brilliantly by Michaela Riener and Ensemble Bloedrood to mark the 100th anniversary of this major work of the 20th Century. Last but not at all least Peter van Loon exhibited his weird and wonderful music machines, sound sculptures featuring pulleys, cogs, turbines, pumps and fans to bring life to a series of sculptures through sound.

We will host an encore concert at Theater Dakota next season 12 October featuring the return of RPM Electro Double Bill Concert with Australian group Ensemble Offspring.

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