Open Day at the Royal Conservatoire

On 28 January 2023, the Royal Conservatoire organises its annual Open Day. The Institute of Sonology will have performances and demonstrations in all its studios on the sixth floor of Amare from 12:00 until 17:00. At 18:30 there will be a performance by the Sonology Electroacoustic Ensemble.

The Open Day is for anyone who is interested in our educational programmes or who just wants to see and hear our studios and know more about the Institute of Sonology.

New Music Lab
12:00–17:00: information about Sonology’s educational programmes
13:00: live performance by Francesco Corvi (10 minutes, followed by Q&A)
14:00: multichannel fixed media composition by Elif Soguksu (20 minutes, followed by Q&A)
15:00: video by Anna Khvyl (15 minutes, followed by Q&A)
16:00: live performance by Farzaneh Nouri and Hugo Ariëns (10 minutes, followed by Q&A)
18:30: live performance by the Sonology Electroacoustic Ensemble

Computer Music Studio 1 (6.69)
12:00–17:00: demonstrations and info by Bjarni Gunnarsson and students

Computer Music Studio 2 (6.68)
12:00–17:00: Dynamic Binaural Synthesis demonstrations and info by Peter Pabon

Wave Field Synthesis Studio (6.74)
12:00–17:00: demonstrations and info by Ji Youn Kang and students

Live Electronic Music Studio (6.75)
12:00–17:00: demonstrations and info by Johan van Kreij and students

Voltage Control Studio (6.76)
12:00–17:00: demonstrations and info by Yannis Patoukas and students

Satellite multi-channel concert on 18 April 2023


As part of the 2023 International Conference on Live Coding (ICLC) in Utrecht, the Institute of Sonology is issuing a special call for multichannel performances and live coding. Proposals are invited that explore the 8-channel Amadeus loudspeaker system in Sonology’s New Music Lab for a satellite event that takes place on Tuesday 18 April 2023. The New Music Lab is on the sixth floor of the Amare building in The Hague.

The Institute of Sonology’s New Music Lab on the sixth floor in Amare.

Proposals should include:

Abstract: a description of your work/performance
Programme notes: max 150 words
Short biography: max 150 words for each contributor
Tech rider: description of your setup and any technical needs.

Proposals should be sent to: gunnarssonb@koncon.nl before 15 February. 
http://sonology.org/
http://sonology.org/new-music-lab/

Yannis Patoukas releases debut album “Jammed”

Jammed is released as a limited edition with music composed, recorded and mixed at the Institute of Sonology (Royal Conservatoire, The Hague) between January and June 2022.

Several recorded takes of the homonymous score for improvising musicians (which was composed for the occasion) become raw material and are used as a basis to create five new fixed media compositions which comprise the album. The music is a result of Patoukas’ ongoing exploration of the common ground which is shared between experimental rock of the late 1960s and early 1970s and the field of electroacoustic music, with regard to studio practices / production techniques and their creative possibilities.

Jammed was initially conceived as a score for improvising musicians, to work as the very first step of a compositional process rather than being part of the final stages of realising a musical result. The score was organised in such a way to create a framework for the musicians and conductor to… “jam” (hence the title), by using a number of restrictions/rules which resulted in a “controllable” improvisation of spontaneously performed sonic events.

On 20 March 2022, three takes of the score were performed and recorded in the New Music Lab at the Institute of Sonology (Royal Conservatoire, The Hague). The ensemble was “conducted” using visual cues projected on two screens in front of the players. With this setup, Yannis was able to shape the performance in real time, with very little influence over the sound material being generated. Subsequently, these multitrack recordings were used as the principal material for creating the fixed-media compositions which make up this album.

These consist of a mixture of (slightly and heavily) processed material derived from the recorded performances, as well as electronic sounds which are sonically and structurally informed by those same recordings through the use of voltage-control techniques. Most of the sounds were manipulated using analogue devices, methods and workflows exclusively, while others were processed using softwares for granulation/randomisation and digital effects. 

Jammed is supported by the Performing Arts Fund NL (Fonds Podiumkunsten).

Contemporary Music Heritage Symposium 13–14 December 2022

One of the central objectives of the Konrad Boehmer Foundation (KBF) is to care for the (material) legacy of the foundation’s namesake, the composer and music critic Konrad Boehmer. Making an inventory of this legacy, together with its digitalisation, archiving and availability, entails problems which are by no means unique, and this is also true of various ethical questions. The same issues naturally arise at other institutions that manage such collections. Perhaps the most important and recurrent question is: how do we maintain these archival collections now that the general public seems to be increasingly distant from the terrain of “classical” music.

Representatives of archival institutions throughout Europe take part in the symposium Contemporary Music Heritage with the purpose of exchanging their views, also implying the wish that their organisations establish and maintain mutual contact, in order to take advantage of each other’s expertise. 

A number of questions will be addressed concerning archival policies and also practical and managing aspects of the institutions’ actions, such as: motivations for collecting and maintaining the archives of composers and creative musicians with respect to scholarly work and musical life in general; strategies and priorities in digitisation of the collections; expanding and/or preserving the identity of a given archival collection; intermediality and dealing with legacies that include different kinds of documents (e.g. audiovisual media vs. manuscripts); preserving/restoring the heritage of historical electroacoustic music; managing an archive with respect to the different skills required, like musicology, librarianship, and sound engineering; guaranteeing the long-term continuity of the institutions and their collections. 

The symposium is also offering two concerts whose programmes include pieces of instrumental, vocal and electroacoustic music within a repertoire connected with the topics of the sessions and discussions.

Concert 13 December 2022, Conservatoriumzaal, 19:30

Bruno Maderna (1920–1973)        
Musica su due dimensioni for flute and tape (1952/1958)
Jana Machalett, flute 
Veniero Rizzardi, sound projection

Iannis Xenakis (1922–2001)            
Hibiki hana ma for 8-channel tape (1969)
Kees Tazelaar, re-spatialization and sound projection

Ton de Leeuw (1926–1996)           
Antiphonie for wind quintet and tape (1960)
Sarah Ouakrat, flute
Juan Esteban Mendoza, oboe
James Meldrum, clarinet
Amber Mallee, bassoon
Jan Harshagen, horn
Hilde Wollenstein, sound projection

Beatriz Ferreyra (*1937)          
Médisances for 4-channel tape (1968–9)
Siamak Anvari, sound projection

Luciano Berio  (1925–2003)             
Altra voce for alto flute, mezzo-soprano and live electronics (1999)
Jana Machalett, flute 
Petra Ehrismann, mezzo-soprano 
Marco Accardi and Riccardo Ancona, electronics

Dick Raaijmakers (1930–2013)       
Mao leve! for tape and slides (1977)
Johan van Kreij and Kees Tazelaar, digital reconstruction and sound projection

Symposium 14 December 2022, New Music Lab

10:00 – Session 1 – Veniero Rizzardi, chair

Frits Zwart (Konrad Boehmer Foundation and Stichting Nederlands Muziek Instituut)
“Why all these efforts?” The relevance of musical heritage.

Therese Muxeneder (Arnold Schönberg Center, Vienna)           
(Re)constructing the (Un)authentic. Process-related collection strategies.

Chris Walton (Hochschule der Künste, Bern)
Problems of collecting, archiving, cataloguing and making accessible composers’ archives in Africa.

Pierluigi Ledda (Archivio Storico Ricordi, Milan)
The living archive. Management and communication strategies.

Philomeen Lelieveldt (Haags Gemeente Archief / Nederlands Muziek Instituut)      
Sounding the Archives. Storytelling through Podcasts

14:00 – Session 2 – Kees Tazelaar, chair   

Veniero Rizzardi (Università Ca’ Foscari and Fondazione Archivio Luigi Nono, Venice)
Networks for research and dissemination. A contemporary archive in Venice. 

Angela Ida De Benedictis (Paul Sacher Stiftung, Basel and Centro Studi Luciano Berio, Florence)
Glass-walled archives: on some multimedia projects for extended uses of archival materials.

Makis Solomos and Mâhki Xenakis (Paris)
The Iannis Xenakis Archive.   

15:30  – Session 3 – Chris Walton, chair

Daniel Teruggi (Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, Paris)
Preserving the complexity of contemporary music

Folkmar Hein (International Documentation of Electroacoustic Music EMDoku, Berlin)
Statistics on Electroacoustic Music   

Kees Tazelaar (Institute of Sonology and Konrad Boehmer Foundation)         
“We don’t have authentic ears”. Considerations of authenticity in the reconstruction of electronic music.

Concert 14 December 2022, Conservatoriumzaal, 19:30

György Ligeti (1923–2006)          
Pièce électronique no.3 for 4-channel tape (1957)
Paul Berg, Johan van Kreij and Kees Tazelaar, digital reconstruction (1996)

Konrad Boehmer (1941–2014)     
Potential for piano (1961, new version no.1 by Nora Mulder)
Nora Mulder, piano

Jan Boerman (1923–2020)                 
Kompositie 1972 for 8-channel tape  (1972)
Kees Tazelaar, multichannel version and sound projection

Konrad Boehmer (1941–2014)     
Potential for piano (1961, new version no.2 by Nora Mulder)
Nora Mulder, piano

Henk Badings (1907–1987)
Capriccio for violin and tape (1959)
Leslee Smucker, violin 
Kees Tazelaar, tape restauration
Siamak Anvari, sound projection

Gottfried Michael Koenig (1926–2021)         
Klangfiguren II for 4-channel tape  (1955–6)
Kees Tazelaar, reconstruction and sound projection

Tera de Marez Oyens (1932–1996)           
Charons Gift for piano and tape (1982)
Akane Takada, piano
Yota Morimoto, sound projection 

Luigi Nono (1924–1990)                           
La fabbrica illuminata for soprano and 4-channel tape (1964)
acousmatic version with projection of archival materials
Veniero Rizzardi, sound projection

Sonology Discussion Concert 1 on 19 October 2022

The first Sonology Discussion Concert of the Academic Year 2022–23 takes place on 19 October 2022, 19:30 in Amare’s Conservatoriumzaal. 

The first half of this concert is dedicated to Iranian electroacoustic music with a work by Alireza Mashayekhi, composed in 1973 at the Institute of Sonology in Utrecht, followed by contemporary works by Iranian Sonology students and alumni. 

The second half of the concert will begin with a presentation of New Emergences’ Acoustic Interiors project, followed by electroacoustic music by Yaara Yaniv (Israel), Agita Reke (Latvia) and Ka∂lín Ólafsdóttir (Iceland), and a performance by the Sonology Electroacoustic Ensemble.

Admission and drinks are free. Be on time because the doors will remain closed once the concert has started.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Guzmán Calzada Llorente composer-in-residence at Festival Dag in de Branding

From September 2022, Guzmán Calzada Llorente will be composer-in-residence at Festival Dag in de Branding for two years.
Guzmán is a composer, guitarist and sound designer of Uruguayan-Spanish descent. He did the Master in Sonology at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. During his residency with Dag in de Branding, he will create new music based on reworkings of early music from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, for various instrumentations, including choir and electronics. His first work will be presented at the festival on June 17, 2023 in The Hague.

Guzmán Calzada Llorente by Bart Grietens

Guzmán Calzada Llorente: “The experience that Dag in de Branding offers young composers is invaluable. It gives me the opportunity and full support to develop ideas that have been on my mind for years. This two-year residency gives me the sufficient amount of time to work on my learning goals by means of a series of performances with different ensembles.”

About Guzmán Calzada Llorente
Versatile musician Guzmán Calzada Llorente (27) is a composer, guitarist and sound designer of Uruguayan-Spanish descent. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in music composition at Uruguay’s University of the Republic, he chose to follow this up with a master’s programme in Sonology at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. Since then, he has been attached to both institutes as assistant professor and associate researcher, respectively.

As a sound artist and composer, Guzmán has intensively studied the relationship between sound and space. The resulting pieces have been presented at numerous concerts and festivals in Europe and South America. Guzmán also has a keen interest in early music and uses this as an inspiration for his compositions.
Moreover, he has also been involved in many projects of South and Central American folk music as a composer, guitarist, arranger and producer. In the Netherlands, he plays guitar in Amaltea, an acoustic folk band that mixes the intimacy of a string trio with Latin, folk and pop music.

Guzmán at Festival Dag in de Branding
As composer-in-residence, Guzmán wants to focus on contemporary ways of incorporating early music into his compositions. In the repertoire from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, he will be looking for pieces that offer starting points for creative adaptation. He is interested in the timbre qualities and fragility of historical instruments and wants to work with a combination of historical and self-made electronic instruments. He will also let himself be inspired by contemporary reworkings of early music such as that of Thomas Tallis’ forty-part motet Spem in Alium by Canadian sound artist Janet Cardiff and A Late Anthology of Early Music by Jennifer Walshe, among others.

Guzmán wants to delve into the question of how historical musical practice relates to the present: after all, how we imagine the past is largely determined by what we know in the here and now.

CLAP album released on Unsounds

A limited edition double LP with original works by Eraldo Bernocchi + Maurizio Bianchi + Barbara Ellison + Terence Hannum + Ji Youn Kang + Fani Konstantinidou + Yannis Kyriakides + Andy Moor + Moor Mother + Massimo Pupillo + Scanner (Robin Rimbaud).

Clap. An Anatomy of Applause is a compilation of original works by a group of musicians and composers brought together by Andrea Stillacci and Unsounds. The project goal is to highlight the radically different forms and meanings that the sound of applause can take according to its context. The principle was to work from original recordings of each artist’s choice, with sources ranging from the thunderous applause celebrating Maria Callas’ last public appearance to the crowds cheering at the fall of the Berlin Wall, and to transform them into musical compositions.

The artists on this double album represent a variety of styles and practices within the experimental fields, at the intersection of the curator’s and the label’s artistic visions. The participants have delved into the dynamics, the grain, the pathos of the applause, in a reversed act of appreciation. The works are unified in the album as they wholeheartedly respond to the voice of the public. A dialogue that remains a vital force, that of the connection of the public with the artists, and vice-versa.

Extra Sonology Concert on 20 September 2022

Due to a cancelled CASS Concert we kindly invite you to an extra Sonology Concert on 20 September 2022 at 19:30 in the Conservatoriumzaal.
This concert will consist exclusively of multi-channel fixed-media compositions by Seraina Fässler, Lawrence Mc Guire, Liza Kuzyakova, Nicole Lachartre (Déroute from 1970), Yannis Patoukas, and Kees Tazelaar (première of Zeestilte, in memory of Jan Boerman).

“Only recently have I met more and more composers in our courses at the Institute of Sonology who have already learned to think in new terms of musical material and musical language during their music studies. I could imagine that […] a science of musical sound is developing that is not about performability but about producibility, indeed about the imaginability of a world that can only be perceived with the ears.” (Gottfried Michael Koenig, 1971)

Admission and drinks are free. Be on time because the doors will remain closed once the concert has started.
We look forward to seeing you there!

Sonology Start-Up! Concert

It has become a tradition that the Institute of Sonology presents a concert during the Royal Conservatoire’s Start-Up! week. This year’s concert is on 31 August 2022, 19:30, in the Conservatoriumzaal.

We have a multi-channel fixed media piece by Leslee Smucker which was originally composed for Wave Field Synthesis playback and has now been modified for an eight-channel loudspeaker system. 

BLACK the 10 is a theatre work based on the collaboration of Argentinean painter Luis Tomasello (1915-2014) and poet Julio Cortázar (1914-1984). Tomasello’s work relies on relief abstract qualities—forms are made from planes and squares. Many works comprise a single plane with slots cut to create a feeling of depth. From a few techniques, a vast array of effects is found in his work: edges of volumes and planes form features, the thickness varies—causing the surface to undulate, shadows are cast and move in accordance with the illumination of the shapes. Cortázar’s evocative poem brings many of these effects to life, dancing between physical qualities of the paintings and abstract conceptualism that the works exude. Cortázar’s prose is often situated in non-linear time, this cyclical nature is reflected in both the paintings and poetry. Smucker’s theatrical portrait adds her own imaginary sonic tapestry to Tomasello and Cortázar’s work.

Our Ukrainian master’s student Anna Khvyl will present a new audio-visual work called It was silence.

Anna writes about her piece: “This audio-visual composition is created from my audio diaries, conversation recordings, and videos recorded on my travels between the Netherlands and Ukraine. After February of this year, my perception of sounds and their absence changed. I tried to understand what was happening by recording my reflections on walks through The Hague and Kyiv and talking to people about their experiences.”

The concert will also include improvised music performed by the Sonology Electroacoustic Ensemble

A free drink will be served after the concert. We look forward to seeing you there!