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The Garden – Asko|Schönberg & Slagwerk Den Haag

Opening Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2018, world premiere, political statement

Gaudeamus Muziekweek opens with the world première of The Garden by Richard Ayres. The Garden is a cyclical tale about a man who, dissatisfied with his life, starts digging from his garden down to the centre of the earth. He then climbs a tree and is transported through clouds and flocks of birds, ever higher up into the heavens, only to land up in the very same tree in his garden.

Ayres uses texts by Shakespeare and Dante, from films and from the pub. Video artist Martha Colburn, known for her hallucinatory and kaleidoscopic work, is creating animations for The Garden . Englishman Richard Ayres studied composition with Morton Feldman and Louis Andriessen. In 1994 he won the Gaudeamus Award. Ayres was commissioned by Asko|Schönberg and London Sinfonietta to write The Garden.

This semi-staged work by the Gaudeamus Award jury member and laureate will be juxtaposed with works by two young music pioneers who have been nominated for the Gaudeamus Award 2018: William Kuo and William Dougherty.

In flieht wie ein Schatten (flees like a shadow) William Kuo investigates the boundaries of his own compositional language. The title might well mislead you; the young composer comes from Canada, and found his inspiration in Martin Luther’s German translation of the Bible. With this composition, Kuo wishes to offer the listener a fresh, new listening experience.

the new normal by William Dougherty was written in reaction to the disturbing events in America during the summer of 2016: the gun battles and the murders of unarmed Afro-American civilians by the police. This work is a collage of musical layers from different eras, and includes recordings of Afro-American prisoners, made in 1947 by ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax, quotes from Monteverdi and Purcell, arranged by the Japanese noise artist Merzbow, and police radio recordings from 2016.

Free programme and introduction
At 19:00 the Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2018 will open with a musical ode presented on the quayside next to TivoliVredenburg. The concert on and around the water will include work by Yannis Kyriakides, among others, performed by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.

This musical ode on the water will be followed by an introduction in the Grote Zaal involving the six nominees for the Gaudeamus Award 2018.

Admission to both the quayside concert and the introduction is free.

Photo © Herre Vermeer

Asko|Schönberg conducted by Bas Wiegers
Slagwerk Den Haag

The Garden
Richard Ayres - composer
Martha Colburn - video artist
Joshua Bloom - bass

Flieht wie ein Schatten
William Kuo - composer - Gaudeamus Award Nominee

The new normal
William Dougherty - composer - Gaudeamus Award Nominee

Nieuw werk
Georgia Nicolaou - composer