Let Me Embrace You is a solo program of about 25 minutes in which the voice and music of soprano Rianne Wilbers embrace you. A program where the voice is the guide. In this day and age we all long to be embraced by loved ones and friends.
Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Therefore Rianne would like to give an intimate concert, especially for YOU! She will give you a musical embrace through new compositions by Gerard Beljon and Anthony Fiumara,an Armenian song and improvisations that stand for hope, comfort and above all connection.
This means that in 12 days time, 6 people a day and thus a total of 72 people in 72 performances Rianne will musically embrace in a series of 1 on 1 concerts in atmospheric churches and chapels.
philharmonie zuidnederland, Duncan Ward Livestream Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, 29 October 2020
My studio is on the top floor of my house. Through the windows I look out over other buildings in the city, but I mainly see the clouds moving through the sky every day.
I am always impressed by the constant and steady change of their shapes and colors. The heavy clouds are beautiful, far away and at the same time close, impressive and timeless—every time I look at them. Their silent floating in a motionless firmament seems to be a big part of their strength. To me they represent the passage of time and the unpredictability of the future.
Time passes differently for different beings and things. Like the clouds our lives are short and fleeting. The past months have made that clearer than ever.
Yet we always keep hope—as if we are looking at the sky, waiting for the redeeming rain.
On 26 February, philharmonie zuidnederland and conductor Mario Brunello will perform See the Sky About to Rain on Radio 4.
America has produced a number of writers, thinkers, and composers who consciously wanted to live their lives in isolation or exile. Henry David Thoreau, Conlon Nancarrow and John Luther Adams are just a few examples of these American hermits.
What I think is special about the American poet Emily Dickinson is that she spent her whole life secluded in her childhood home in Amherst, Massachusetts — hidden in plain sight. Her poems also remained hidden until after her death: a chest full, which her sister did not destroy but published against Emily’s wishes.
In 2020 we will all have become hermit-like. We keep our distance from each other, work from our own homes where possible and look forward to the time when we can reunite in larger numbers in concert halls, theaters, cinemas and festivals.
I composed Emily for a series of concerts dealing with themes around Covid-19. Her poems about death, isolation and immortality are more relevant than ever.
Emily was premiered by soprano Marene Elgershuizen and Matangi Quartet, for NTR Radio 4 in Muziekhaven, Zaandam. Matangi Quartet also performed my first string quartet I Dreamed in the Cities at Night. You can listen to the entire program here.
In December, Marene and I were interviewed about the project for newspaper Trouw.
In December 2019 I composed Let the Light in together with Anneke van Giersbergen, for the chamber orchestra Kamerata Zuid. They did a number of concerts in North Brabant, a province in the south of the Netherlands where both Anneke and I were born and raised.
Apart from Let the Light In the setlist offered a variety of Anneke's own songs with a classical twist, and some classical arias.
Kamerata Zuid recorded all seven concerts and artistic director/conductor Frank Adams and they cherry-picked the best performances. The album was recorded by Jonathan Heywood, mixed by Guido Aalbers at Giesound and mastered by Darius van Helfteren. Hajo Müller designed the album cover.