Programme - MAZE in concert

The Amsterdam-based ensemble MAZE is dedicated to performing music that challenges the idea of fixed form and fixed listening perspectives. They work with composers to develop open scores that include video and graphic images as hybrid notations.

Six students, Shoya Fujita, Sóley Sigurjónsdóttir, Pedro Latas, Eric So, Richard Hughes and Eva Beunk from the Royal Conservatoire were invited to compose works for MAZE to be presented in the Spring Festival 2021. The collaboration between the students and the MAZE musicians was an adventurous project that produced a concert of diverse compositions that included improvisation, weather reports, iPads, videos, computer interaction, politics, and games.

MAZE
Anne La Berge - flutes
Gareth Davis - bass clarinet
Joost Buis - trombone
Cody Takács- double bass
Wiek Hijmans - el. guitar
Renier van Houdt - piano, keyboards
Yannis Kyriakides - processing, electronics

Visit Spatial Chat

Possibility to meet other concert visitors, composers, and musicians in an informal online setting. Form small or larger groups to get to know each other or catch up. Almost like being in a bar together once more. Here you will also find technical assistance by The Royal Conservatoire if you have any questions on the use of Spatial Chat or Youtube, to be able to interact and view the concerts starting at 08.00 pm.

Follow the 'Maze in concert' programme via Youtube and Spatial Chat.

  1. Introduction by Yannis Kyriakides en Anne la Berge
  2. Richard Hughes - North Atlantic
  3. Sóley Sigurjónsdóttir – Alter Ego
  4. Pedro Latas - Being with You, in Unity
  5. Shoya Fujita - Haru1403
  6. Eva Beunk - The Pause Piece
  7. Eric So - Five Players in Play of God's

Follow Side programme 1 via Youtube & Spatial Chat.

  1. Chi sei - for six guitars (2021): Alberto Tombolan
  2. Les Meditations sur la vie triste - for guitar ensemble: Guoda Slipkutė
  3. together we walk – I follow you - for eight guitars: Iris Bramberger
  4. Etude No. 1 (2020-2021): Petra Cini
  5. समुद्रमन्थन (Samudra Manthan): Nirantar Yakthumba
  6. Zie - for organ (2021): Maarten Bauer
  7. Project 0401220904 0418011313 - Jurijn Jonker (offered as audioclips through the tab below: 'Pieces Side Programme')

Follow Side Programme 2 via Youtube & Spatial Chat.

  1. Mundane Songs About Life (2021) – for Mezzo Soprano & Drum Kit: Robert Nettleship
  2. Artep – for alto saxophone and electronic tape: Tilen Lebar
  3. Repeat - for 2 snare drums and speaking (2017): Henryk Golden (1999)
  4. A Conversation - for live electronics performer and actor: Robert Nettleship & Richard Hughes
  5. AIR 空氣 for solo flute: Katherine Teng
  6. Etudes No. 2-3-5 (2020-2021): Petra Cini
  7. Song No. 3: Patient (2021): Petra Cini
  8. Rosa: Jurijn Jonker
  9. Pronto? - for phones and performer: Pedro Latas
  10. Actually, you are quite handsome (2021): Maarten Bauer
  11. From What I've Heard: Rose Connolly
  12. Yellow: Rose Connolly

Pieces Formal Programme

North Atlantic is a multimedia work written for MAZE ensemble. All the material of the piece is based off the wind forecast over the North Atlantic on the week of performance. In particular, the material includes the video graphic score the performers use, the fixed media electronics and abstracted visuals projected behind.

The performers are given fixed pitches which they can use freely. The pitches come from the 5edo scale. Instead of dividing the octave into 12 notes, it is divided into 5, which results in a microtonal scale.

Each performer is placed within an area of the North Atlantic. The colour and strength of the wind, in their area, is mapped to a palette of techniques and textures. They are also instructed to interact in certain ways when performers share the same bout of wind.

Alter ego explores the relationship between the virtual and physical self. The piece is composed for Maze ensemble; alto flute, bass clarinet, double bass, electric guitar, synthesizer, live electronics, and spatial sound using ambisonics. The term ‘alter ego’ refers to an alternative self of an individual, or in this case, how the imaginary self of an instrument would sound. The aim is to transform the instruments beyond their physical limitations by using ambisonics to separate the virtual world from the physical one. The alternative characteristics of the instruments are explored by playing with a sonic complexity and the (virtual) size of sonic objects. As the piece progresses, the alter egos separate from their initial instrument, gain their own identity, and start moving around the virtual space.

“When not sharing time or space, when not having the possibility to physically touch and intervene, can we be witness to each other?” – Caroline Nevejan in “Witnessing you”.

This piece aims to explore social relationships on a stage mediated by a computer or tablet screen. Performers make use of an interface with simple instructions with which they communicate with the rest of the ensemble members, in a way discarding normal ways of communication, like eye contact and queues given by their bodies. At the same time the players are asked to interpret pictures in order to create their musical material. These pictures were taken by Sabina Mérida Entrocassi for a project in which each she explores human connection with strangers, friends, family and also her own place in this intricate world of networked people.

This piece is dance music at one of ethnic festivals that I fantasized about. I hope you will enjoy the atmosphere of the festival. 

In this festival, the music gradually changes according to the mood of the dance, and the mood of the dance is constantly changing. 

In this actual performance, they perform what is indicated on the screen, and the contents keep changing in pretty tight intervals. However, it has a consistent structure and this consistency is the atmosphere of this festival. 

In fact, the motifs of the music refer to a certain folk music, which is also music for dancing, so it will be fun to listen and even dance, imagining what the citizens are dancing like.

Over the first lockdown I heard a lot of people saying that it forced them to finally take the break they needed so badly.

I realized that people don’t just take a break because they need to, but only if something external, like getting sick of pressure or being in a pandemic, really ‘puts them to pause’. That’s why I created a piece in which the ensemble members can give each other signals, to let them take a pause from the constant mercilessly pounding melody.

After a pause, players continue playing the melody from the place they left of, which causes a canon close to chaos.

Synopsis:

God asked five players to perform a game, but they cannot stand God, so they just turn it off.

Pieces Side Programme

'Chi sei' was written for the 'guitar orchestra' project. I chose to write for six guitars in order to have one player for each string of the guitar. The aim was to treat the sextet as a mega guitar and explore its qualities in space. At the beginning, each player is assigned only one string of the guitar and plays one note at a time. However, they start to exchange roles very soon and end up playing up to six notes on all the six strings.

'Chi sei' is a play on words. It can be translated from Italian as 'who you are'. Nevertheless, 'chi' could be an abbreviation for 'chitarra' (guitar), while 'sei' also means 'six'. Moreover, 'Chi sei' is composed of six letters divided into three, which are also reminding of the strings of the guitar.  

Please use earphones for the best experience.

Conductor:
Hardy Li

Performers:
Silvia Escamilla
Eva Calvo Lopez
Álvaro García Peón
Carolina Agudín
Antonio Peršak
Filipe Henriques de Oliveira

‘Les Meditations sur la vie triste’ was inspired and named after a poem, written by a Lithuanian poet V.Mačernis. The piece is written in a five part ABACA form, with a reoccurring theme A that is varied each time. There are two main key components in the piece that reoccur as well – the ‘hidden’ and ‘scattered’ melody of Gregorian chant ‘Dies Irae’ and five distinct chords, built from the bass note E. These components were used in various ways –divided into small sections and varied melodically (e.g.: retrograded, inversed), presented in special techniques (e.g.: tremolo, harmonics) and so on. Not only the form, but also the atmosphere for the piece was heavily inspired by the poem. There are a few themes that dominate in the text– the concept of meaningless living, opposition of life and death, elderliness and youth, and the fascination of the afterlife, which were taken into account when composing each section of the piece.

Performers:
Cem Ergul
Amade Pal-Balaz
Spencer Pollard
MildaOrvydaitė
Matej Lackovic

‘Les Meditations sur la vie triste’ (translated from Lithuanian)
They have already broken my will and determination 
These words, as muffled and hoarse:
- Everything runs, passes, does not return! -

Unknown, common destiny
Tempt to reconcile with the world.
An ephemeral, empty game

I am left with a meaningful temptation.
Ah, bless those who live
And from a terrible dream do not wake up!

They are only young in their youth and old in their elderliness.
And every day others are born and die.
They look tired like old men.

And who would forget their sad look…
(This is what distinguishes man from a monkey,
That he protests against it and dies.)

Together we walk – I follow you is a piece inspired by trance music and written for eight guitars. It attempts to thematise collectivity and individuality.

Performers:
José Carlos Carreiro
Silvia Escamilla
Matej Lacković
Eva Calvo Lopez
Amadé Pal-Balaz
Alvaro Peon
Antonio Peršak
Natan Zlodre

Etude No. 1 is the first piece of the opus Etudes (2020-) I am currently working on, that will be comprised of 17 etudes divided into two collections: the Salvami etudes 1 4 7 9 11 14 17, where a slow, highly deductive approach is employed (conscious application of my musical theory, where wallpaper groups constitute the choice of groups) and the etudes 2,3 5, 6 8 10 12,13 15,16 where a fast, highly intuitive approach is used (consequence of my musical theory). A damaged, broken and therefore enriched ritualistic purity is depicted. In my works a tainted mystical tension can be found, as the sought after concepts and aspirations of purity and perfection are infused with human perception and with organic elements that damage and therefore perceptually enrich the ungraspable, the ineffable. Mathematical groups are recognized as expressions of a level of abstraction that can be described as pure. In Etude No. 1, the mystical perfection of the wallpaper group p1 is brought to the perceptual realm through a psychophysical analysis in terms of violence and purity of the elements of the algebraic structure. The sequence of computations of the aforementioned elements, musically rendered, generates the form of the piece. Moreover, an expressive and aphoristic description of the resulting form is given with the definition of five musical zones: Metrical, Perfectly Itself, Transhuman, Holistic and Respiration zone. Each of them entails a different perception of the musical material and of reality itself. The listener is thus perceptually led through a musical tainted mystical path consisting of an alternation of such zones. A life and a music of trying, of failing and of recognized beauty in the inescapable and therefore sublimed deranging of sought after purity.

Performers:
Melodic group M:
Milda Orvydaite, Carolina Agudin, Cem Ergul
Percussive group P:
Eva Calvo Lopez, Silvia Escamilla, Antonio Persak
Danger group D:
Spencer Pollard, Amadé Pal-Balaz

Samudra Manthan is a legend narrated in the Great Puranas. In it, the Devas (gods) ally with the Asuras (anti-gods) to extract Amrita (the elixir of life) from the Kshira Sagara (Ocean of Milk). To churn the ocean, they usedVasuki (a king of divine Serpents) as a churning string wrapped around Mount Mandara, which they used as a churning pole. The mountain was placed on the back of Kurma (the Great Tortoise, an avatar of Lord Vishnu).

To extract the elixir, the Devas and Asuras churned the ocean for a millennium, during which several Ratnas (treasures) emerged from the ocean. Among these arose the Goddess Lakshmi, the eternal consort of Lord Vishnu and the embodiment of Prakriti (the phenomenal universe). However, as Amrita emerged, so did its opposite, Halahala, a terrible poison. To prevent a calamity, the Devas and Asuras prayed to Lord Shiva for protection, who manifested and consumed the poison and kept it suspended in his throat.

My piece is not a programmatic musical depiction of the legend. I wrote it as ritual music for the recitation of the legend in ceremonies. Most importantly, it is an attempt to begin a process of deterretorializing Hinduism; to critique its hierarchical history and corrupt institutionalisation; to rediscover countless ages of creative knowledge and practice (Yoga).

Performed by Kali Quartet:
Elsa le Moigne - cello
Idil Yunkus - violin
Giuseppe Sapienza - clarinet
Nirantar Yakthumba - prepared piano and electronics

Many thanks to Mick van Broekhoven, Reinis Bagats and Siavash Jafari for mixing and recording.

Performed by Bert van Stam 

Zie (Dutch for ‘see’) is inspired by a Biblical text that is shown on the arch above the altar in the Maranathakerk Den Haag. This text is from Matthew 28:20: Zie, ik ben met u al de dagen tot aan de voleinding der wereld. See, I am with you all days until the end of the world. The composition is based on the rhythm of eight Dutch translations of the word idou (ἰδού) (Biblical Greek) and hinneh ( הֵּנִה ) (Biblical Hebrew), which are both hard to translate into other languages: ‘behold’, ‘see’, ‘lo’, ‘here … I’, ‘and lo’ etc. The organist Bert van Stam is reciting these different translations.

Because of the nature of this piece, it is offered as audio files and can be listened to here.

The original piece has a duration of 100 hours, but because of the limits of the internet, it will be 5 hours. For a long time I didn’t know why I made this piece. That was until I listened to the first 90 minutes in the Stockhausen studio two weeks ago. This piece is really a slow sample of the piece which I composed previously: ‘David Dramm (1 hour version)’. I made some modulations with the help of time stretching, pitch shifting and reversing.

It took me the week before the Christmas holiday, in which I did not sleep for almost 90 hours. When I listened to it again two weeks ago I was fascinated, flabbergasted by the way that the sound waves, frequencies, affected my thinking patterns. Stimulating some associations, all the while blocking some memories and thoughts. Then I finally came to know just WHY I made this piece. In the end for me, it was all about structuring limitations and boundaries, not per se the technique behind it.

If you listen to this big blob of a piece, you will forget all these little details, because it is too much to remember anyways.

Let’s say you would do it as I did and take it in for one hour each day. Even then, would you see the whole picture? Maybe if you’re a genius of some sort, but let’s face it: you probably won’t. It would be too much to handle and would never be giving you a clear overview.

These, of course, are two opposite extremes. But we will give it another chance by listening to it for for 5 hours right here, right now, as a way of taking the average of these two extremes mentioned above. Maybe it’s more clear this time? Even with us not listening to 95% of the whole, I would think so!

This piece for me personally, stands for thoughts about structure, limits and boundaries on multiple layers and perspectives. And with that, how to deal with the rest of the world.

This piece is a setting of some poems I wrote about ordinary situations which happened in my life such as: working in a kitchen or getting lost on the motorway in my car.

Performed by Carolina Luís (Mezzo Soprano) & Robert Nettleship (Drum Kit)

Original work for an alto saxophone and an electronic tape »Artep« was commissioned and premiered by the Slovenian saxophonist and pedagogue Peter Kruder. His initial idea was to make a collaboration with the artist Petra Kolmancic and to reflect my sound world with the poetry of hers. At the beginning I had to decide which of her poems would be interesting for me personally. I chose the one that is titled Tunel. It expressed an inner emotional response throughout a complex abstraction of the words. I used the poem in different ways. First of all, I divided it into short intuitive aphorisms that were constructed from the separated parts of the poem. In the next step Petra recorded the three different versions of the poem. First one was a natural run through, second one with an extended duration over 10 minutes where the words and phrases start to loop. The third version presented the short aphorisms themselves. The recordings served as my main point of interest. I transcribed her interpretations into a rhythmical text that was later used in the saxophone part. With the analysis of her voice recordings I calculated a spectral peak. It served me as a referential point where I have built up an appropriated musical scale in the saxophone part. Later on, I developed the electronic tape where I combined voice recordings of Petra, recordings of Peter on the saxophone and electronically manipulated them into one unity. The unity of »Artep«, where both names of Petra and Peter appear.

Repeat was originally inspired by the short remarks made by Miles Davis before some of his earlier recordings that were included in the cut of his records. I felt that the energy he gave in these few words could be felt throughout the entire piece that came after. This transfer of energy I wanted to capture in this piece. In the piece the spoken phrase “We don’t repeat” is transferred to the two snare drums, with the different consonants being replaced by drum hits. This relationship is then developed throughout the piece, playing with the idea whether the drums are imitating the voice or the voice imitating the drums.

Performed by Ricardo Oliveira and João Brito

This is a piece of performance art written for a live electronics performer and actor. The score is largely text based with directions. Some elements of the piece are entirely up to the performers while others are more defined. There are a list of words and emotions given to the vocalist which they can use in any manner they see fit. The live electronics consists of a granulator and a delay channel.  

A Conversation aims to magnify and intensify a normal situation through performance art, turning reality into other-worldly, the mundane into the absurd.

This piece is inspired by the traditional Chinese instrument - Xiao. In between each sentence, there are some breaks to let the flutist and also the audience can calmly take the breath and feel the air flowing in the space.

Etude No. 1 is the first piece of the opus Etudes (2020-) I am currently working on, that will be comprised of 17 etudes divided into two collections: the Salvami etudes 1 4 7 9 11 14 17, where a slow, highly deductive approach is employed (conscious application of my musical theory, where wallpaper groups constitute the choice of groups) and the etudes 2,3 5, 6 8 10 12,13 15,16 where a fast, highly intuitive approach is used (consequence of my musical theory). A damaged, broken and therefore enriched ritualistic purity is depicted. In my works a tainted mystical tension can be found, as the sought after concepts and aspirations of purity and perfection are infused with human perception and with organic elements that damage and therefore perceptually enrich the ungraspable, the ineffable. Mathematical groups are recognized as expressions of a level of abstraction that can be described as pure. In Etude No. 1, the mystical perfection of the wallpaper group p1 is brought to the perceptual realm through a psychophysical analysis in terms of violence and purity of the elements of the algebraic structure. The sequence of computations of the aforementioned elements, musically rendered, generates the form of the piece. Moreover, an expressive and aphoristic description of the resulting form is given with the definition of five musical zones: Metrical, Perfectly Itself, Transhuman, Holistic and Respiration zone. Each of them entails a different perception of the musical material and of reality itself. The listener is thus perceptually led through a musical tainted mystical path consisting of an alternation of such zones. A life and a music of trying, of failing and of recognized beauty in the inescapable and therefore sublimed deranging of sought after purity.

Etudes No. 2-3-5 are part of the opus Etudes (2020-) I am currently working on, that will be comprised of 17 etudes divided into two collections: the Salvami etudes 1 4 7 9 11 14 17, where a slow, highly deductive approach is employed (conscious application of my musical theory, where wallpaper groups constitute the choice of groups) and the etudes 2,3 5, 6 8 10 12,13 15,16 where a fast, highly intuitive approach is used (consequence of my musical theory).

The song of a generation. An ode to patience and recollection.

“Hello? Can you hear me well?” is one of the most iconic greetings since the beginning of the pandemic, given that we’ve had to switch all our lives to an online environment. If on a one-to-one call we sometimes have difficulty understanding what other people are saying, what happens when we have six more people in between? This piece explores the degradation of sound quality throughout a linear, non-feedbacked path of phone calls. In the beginning of the line a performer is playing “on demand”, following the other participant’s instructions. Their sound goes through one phone to another in a chain of phone calls. Given the instability of Wi-Fi connections, data losses, the different rooms in which people are in and other uncountable variables what sounds at the end of this chain is merely a shadow of what the performer is executing in the beginning of the line.

Performed by Maarten Bauer

‘’Actually, you are quite handsome’’ is the most personal piece I have made so far. In this composition I articulate the sentence ‘’Eigenlijk ben je best wel knap’’, which a friend once told to me. It touched and moved me so much and it made me feel so happy and fortunate that I decided to make a piece about the physical design and look of my face. I have always been insecure about my physical appearance (like many others), but through the years I came to appreciate and see the beauty of my own looks. Self-appreciation is partially achieved by appreciation from others. So, let’s express our honest admiration for others a bit more often.

This piece was inspired by the stories and tribulations that I heard from my family based on the troubles in Northern Ireland. Growing up post-conflict as a 'cease-fire' baby has had significant effects on the young people of Northern Ireland today, especially among the working class; political apathy, deterioration of economy, lack of trust in political circles especially is only a few things that has affected us. Although we are incredibly lucky and grateful to not grow up with the violence our parents endured, we still are the generation that; reaped the spoils of peace'. The stories my parents were always so horrific, and I had a confused sense of guilt and remorse about it. It's very confusing for a 'cease-fire baby', so I wanted to write a piece about it.

This piece is a playful exploration into timbre, colour, percussive and extended techniques. The colour yellow is my favourite, so I wanted to hear what it sounded like internally, intuitively, and emotionally.

Both pieces performed by Vivian de Graaff, Andrea Gelcich, Cecilia van berkum, Thomas Zonderop.