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.
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.