Crossover between Sonology and Classical Music at Zuiderstrandtheater

25 June 2019

Meet Alfian and Francesco. Together, they are working on a crossover between Sonology and the Classical Music Department.

Alfian is about to finish his Master the Royal Conservatoire. After his Bachelor studies in Indonesia, he came to the Netherlands to study the cello with Larissa Groeneveld. He also joined the Master Specialisation Ensemble Academy, where he gained a lot of practical working experience and had the chance to build up a network in the Netherlands.

He plays on a beautiful Italian cello from 1870. The cello has a very rich sound which is perfect for contemporary music, he says. Despite focusing on classical music, Alfian loves to play contemporary music and explore new things. He was immediately interested, when Francesco approached him with his collaboration idea.

Francesco came from Perugia to The Hague for an Erasmus exchange. He liked it so much, that he permanently transferred and is now finishing his Bachelor here. Francesco wrote a piece called ibid. referring to the Latin word ibidem which means at the same spot or together. The title refers to how his piece works. He programmed his computer to react on the sound of the cello and so, a very intriguing dialogue begins. Francesco is fascinated by minimal music and the simplicity of it. That is something he wants to express in his art. In his composition, he wants to show the entire timbre and spectrum of the instrument and test the cello’s limitations. For instance, the cello is tuned in a different way to reach a different range (Scordatura).

Alfian helped me a lot during this process, Francesco explains. He basically taught me how a cello works. His composition creates a very intense atmosphere. It has resemblance to a symphonic composition and just like Prokofiev or Mahler, Francesco asks a lot of accuracy and technical capabilities of his musician. This is how we will experience symphonic compositions in the future. Who knows, it was also a big step from Haydn’s sonata form to Wagner’s symphonic poem.

If you want to experience Francesco’s composition stop by the Zuiderstrandtheater on Saturday at 3pm. Alfian and other students of the Ensemble Academy will showcase contemporary music as part of Dag in de Branding. Find more info’s here. They will also play the piece during Francesco's exam on June 27th at 19:30 in the Royal Conservatoire.