Spring Festival #50 of the Royal Conservatoire The Hague, Day 1.1 - Opening by Martijn Padding and Kluster5

April 3rd, 2017. The start of the fiftieth Spring Festival of the Composition Department of the Royal Conservatoire The Hague. It was founded by Dick Raaijmakers, who was a teacher of Electronic and Contemporary music at the Conservatoire from 1966-1995. The current Head of the Composition Department, Martijn Padding, opened the Festival. Martijn said:"I didn't want to open the concert with 'another' speech. So I will do something else: An act. Standing in front of a projected photograph of Dick Raaijmakers I will become Raaijmakers in eight stages." And so he did.


Martijn Padding becomes Dick Raaijmakers

The concert was kicked off by Kluster5. A young ensemble, quickly making a name for itself in the Dutch new music scene. The quintet consist of piano (Tim Sabel), violin (Isa Goldschmeding), percussion (Jennifer Heins), guitars (Martin van Hees) and saxophones (Daan van Koppen). They performed a set of five world premieres composed by students of the Composition Department. Guitarist Martin van Hees:"We are delighted to be back at the Spring Festival for the second year in a row to premiere compositions. It is really a delight to have these great composers writing for us. Beside that I would like te remind you how important it is to really bring together composers and performing musicians." The first premiere was Tips for Rearranging a Room by Rob Jones. A British composer. A two tone siren of the violin, constantly repeating and with large intervals. A ´shaking´ sound by the percussionist joins in now and then. Accompanied by a single piano note. The accords of the guitar pave the way for the saxophone to counter the violin. The saxophone sirens of two tones are high to low, that by the violin low to high. Gradually the piece develops with the instrumentalist playing more than two notes in a sequence. All in a quiet manner. The percussionist ends the piece solo with a revolving rumble.
The second piece was called 'Ana' composed by Juan Miguel Moreno Camacho. Juan Miquel said:"I don't want to tell too much about the piece. Because somehow secrets are also part of life. The composition is not just an abstract object. It has a meaning, a personality. I has many moods. Ana is not schizofrenic, but something similar. I don't know the name of the problem that she has. It's a real person." Kluster5 bursts into the piece. Quieter sequences follow up the repeated brusts of sound. Triangle and violin let the piece fade to silence and the applause.
Ono by Cindy Giron is the next piece. Cindy:"So the piece is about different textures and contrasts. I was thinking about conversations and energetic ships. I had some fun writing the piece, because i have been composing some pieces that have been more sparse and slow moving and lots of space. After I heard some recordings of Kluster5 and got to meet them, I felt their vibe. I changed the piece around a bit for them. And accomodated it more to their characteristics. Yes, a piece bout contrasts. Enjoy." Cindy didn't promise too much. A highly energetic composition. But also contrasting quieter parts with a scraping violin and baritone saxophone. In the finale all players became percussionists.


Kluster5

Celia Black wrote a piece called: Boven Hoge Gebouwen (Above High Buildings). Celia:"It is about The Hague. And the wind high up. I came to the Hague four years ago. And since two years I started to look up more and look at the buildings. I enjoy looking at them and it has a lot of movement. Especially when you look at the skyline, and yeah. When you pass by on your bicycle your view shifts. YOU should look at it." The composition is like an amazing experience looking up a tall building with no end. And with riding along the buildings the shift of view is not abruptly but very smooth.
The final piece of the set is 23:09 by Italian composer Sebastiano Evangelista. Sebastiano:"The title actually comes from the time I finished the composition." Martin:"Quite late in the evening, but quite decent. How did you feel at that monet?" Sebastiano:"Quite satisfied. With many improvements made during the day." Martin:"But still time for a beer at nine past eleven?" Sebastiano:"That was my thought actually!" A 'heavy' and interesting piece followed. Highly rhythmical composition, with a certain beat in it.


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