Looking back on Dag in de Branding

27 May 2022

During Festival Dag in de Branding, the venues and ensembles of The Hague introduce you to the newest music. For edition 64 they selected three talented alumni of the Royal Conservatoire as artists in residence: composers Thomas van Dun and Julian Maple-Oliveira, and harpist Michela Amici. From 20 to the 22nd of may their music could be heard in several locations throughout Den Haag.

Michela Amici gave a concert in the Barthkapel in Den Haag. Michela graduated in 2018 from the Royal Conservatoire - Master New Audiences and Innovative Practice (NAIP) - and continued with her studies in early music. She collaborated with Amarante Nat (composition student of the Royal Conservatoire) and Julia Beth (writer) on a new piece. She also performed pieces by alumni composers Karmit Fadael, Eva Beunk en Rob Jones and by the composition teacher Calliope Tsoupaki.

‘My residency continued my research for my graduation from NAIP. In that research, I was looking into the element of space in contemporary music. Relationship as an element of the composition.
I used this residency to develop these ideas further on another level. Another thing I wanted to look into was working with text. How can a historical text be looked at? What has to be revised, and what is timeless?

Foto: Wouter Vellekoop | Dag in de Branding

The festival was coaching me on two levels. Both artistically but also in leading a collaboration project. I actually got the role of a curator and an artistic leader. So how do you put a team with different artists together? How do you make sure that everyone has enough space for their own voice? How do you give enough space to every discipline?

The process and research was the most important part for me. The performance was like the tip of the iceberg. It was not about this typical performance, but about learning a method of working with different creatives, of collaboration. And about initiating a process from a concept to a final performance.
I will take this luggage of knowledge with me for future projects.'

Foto: Wouter Vellekoop | Dag in de Branding

Thomas van Dun collaborated with ensemble Klang, organ player Geerten van de Wetering and visual artist Frouke ten Velden on 'Light Mass'. In two sold-out concerts, the audience was asked to lay down on loungers, to be immersed in sound and light projections.

Thomas: ‘The residency trajectory was very much dominated by developing yourself as an artist and learning new techniques. Before I started setting up the project, together with Dag in de Branding we looked at what learning pints I wanted to develop and experiment with. Things came up like working with multimedia, ensemble, organ, spatial arrangements, electronics and alternative audience experiences. These were all things that I never or barely tried out. So it was an amazing opportunity that I got to explore all those stuff with the expertise of the involved parties.

After the premiere, I felt very relieved that everything went well, but I was also extremely tired. This project was a big pressure-cooker for me. I experience stress before all of my concerts, but now even more. After the second performance, I went home like a zombie. It was not until the next morning that I started to feel happy and proud.'

Foto: Wouter Vellekoop | Dag in de Branding

Julian Maple Olivera studied Composition and Sonology at the Royal Conservatoire. For Dag in de Branding, he collaborated with soprano and alumna Gita Rebeka and with the New European Ensemble.

'For the project at Dag in de Branding, I developed a series of five musical experiments in the shape of songs for voice, electronics and instrumental ensemble. This project combined my love for cartoons and contemporary music. By connecting those two loves I created a persona named Oliver Maple - a comic figure who writes music and goes through fantastic (and fun) adventures.'

Dag in de Branding is currently looking for a new Composer in Residence. Composers have time until the 2nd of June to send in their concepts.
More info