Slam, Pluck & Blow

The much acclaimed Ensemble Klang presented it's new programme Slam, Pluck & Blow on Saturday 2 June 2012 in the Korzo Theatre, The Hague, The Netherlands. As always the Ensemble presented a cohesive programme with almost solely compositions, by young and exciting and some eshtablished and exciting composers, written especially for them. On the roster are Maarten Altena, Peter Adriaansz, Ruby Fulton, Giuliano Bracci and Christopher Fox.

Christopher Fox is a Research Professor in Music at Brunel University, London, UK. His piece Schwarz-weiss is the progamme opener. The six Ensemble members play together on three keyboards in this dynamic piece.
After the heavy sounds of the three keyboards the Ensemble played P˙ramide, ŕ Paul Klee. A Giuliano Bracci composition. Giuliano is an Italian composer based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He graduated in phylosophy in Italy and turned to studying music. At the moment he is working towards his Master degree at the Amsterdam Conservatorium. His piece was more of the thoughtful kind, with long spun out sounds, and of a quasi simplicity. Like the work of the painter.
Peter Adriaansz, a fixture on the list of composers for Ensemble Klang, composed a double header this time Phrase & Fraction. Phrase, a quiet and aloof piece, is followed by extant pulses of music of Fraction.

After the intermission the stage was set for the main work of the progamme. Maarten Altena, originally a double bass player who lead his own Maarten Altena Ensemble for improvised music, converted to composition in the eighties. He was asked to write a short signature for the Ensemble Klang programme Principles of Concision. Based on that piece "Two Minutes" he composed a lengthy composition divided in three parts: Slam, Pluck & Blow. In the Pluck part the spotlight was on trombone (with mute) player Anton van Houten. Maarten Altena:"I felt totally free in my mind while writing this piece. Therefor it has a kind of jazzy accent.
The grand final of the concert constituted of the 2010 composition The Most Dangerous Music In America by Ruby Fulton. Fulton, a US composer, Baltimore based, has a degree from the Peabody Institute (DMA, 2009) and studied with Julia Wolfe. The piece is about the effects of psychedelic drugs on the brain, DMT and the “machine elves”. Accordingly percussionist Joey Marijs played a turqoise drum kit. The piece climaxed the performance of Ensemble Klang culminating in all six members playing percussion. I dare to say a composition which will become very popular, with it's unexpected rythms.
A memorable concert with fine pieces and an excelling Ensemble Klang. Maarten van Regteren Altena:"They impress with a nuance and control while playing forte, which is seldom seen. And what about the brilliant trombone player Anton van Houten?"

Photo series of the concert