Kees Tazelaar, director of the Institute of Sonology in The Hague, will reconstruct the birth and evolution of electronic music in the Netherlands, which revolved around notable institutions such as the Philips Studios (which supported a laboratory of experimentation in sound and new technologies, assembling leading thinkers and researchers such as Iannis Xenakis, Le Corbusier, and Edgard Varèse during the postwar period), the Art Science Interfaculty, and the Institute of Sonology. The latter two remain bustling creative laboratories for forward-thinking artists and projects today.
A teacher at the Institute of Sonology in Utrecht (1981-83) and the Hague (1987-1989), student of Jan Boerman and Graduate of the Royal Conservatory in The Hague in 1993, and head of the Institute of Sonology in The Hague since 2006, Kees Tazelaar also creates his own compositions, has worked to restore and reconstruct major electronic works from past luminaries such as Iannis Xenakis, Györgi Ligeti, Edgard Varèse, and Gottfried Michael Koenig, to name a few. and has contributed to music theatre projects by the late Dick Raaijmakers. His new publication, On The Threshold of Beauty: Philips and the Origins of Electronic Music in the Netherlands, 1925–1965, explores the development of electronic music at the Philips research laboratory, the collaboration between Xenakis, Le Corbusier, and Varèse on the now legendary Philips Pavilion (Word Expo 1958), and the first electronic music studios in the Netherlands.
Conceived by Tazelaar, the four-part programme on electronic music pioneers in the Netherlands provides a rare opportunity to learn about the region’s vibrant and interconnected developments throughout the 1950s-1980s and into the present day. Tazelaar’s personal connection to many of the protagonists themselves, and his intimate familiarity with their works and research, will be highlighted through an introductory lecture at the outset of the programme.
Following the lecture, Tazelaar presents multichannel diffusions of a wide selection of pioneering works curated especially by himself for the evening, providing a unique chance to experience works by an extensive cast of sound researchers and composers. Presented in three parts, each of the sound diffusion concerts also includes live performances.
In the Concert 1 programme, violinist and experimental musician Ekkehard Windrich performs a solo piece by Henk Badings, known for us his of unusual musical scales such as the octatonic scale, as well as the harmonic series from the eight to fifteenth overtone. Windrich is joined by pianist Frank Gutschmidt (regular performer with the Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin) in the Concert 2 programme, to perform a work by Gottfried Michael Koenig, a musician and composer who taught and was director and chairman of the electronic music studio at the University of Utrecht, which later became the Institute of Sonology. CTM is honoured to host the now 87 year-old Koenig, who has made a special trip to Berlin to be present for the work's presentation.
The third and final Concert 3 programme features a live sextet performance of Ton de Leeuw’s "Antiphonie for wind quintet and tape" (1960), a composition that is played in public for the first time since the year of its composition, as well as Luc Döbereiner’s "K2 for piano and computer", performed by the composer himself (on computer), with Frank Gutschmidt on piano.
Detailed Programme Schedule
Kees Tazelaar – "Electronic Music Pioneers in the Netherlands"
Luc Döbereiner (1984), grew up in Berlin. He composes instrumental and electronic music and studied sonology at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and computer music at the Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics in Graz.
Jan Boerman (The Hague, 1923) is a composer and pioneer of Dutch electronic music. He worked in the first electronic music studio in the Netherlands, at the Technical University of Delft.
Antonius Wilhelmus Adrianus de Leeuw (1926-1996) was a Dutch composer well known for his experiments with micro-tonality and spatial aspects.
Henk Badings (1907-1987) was known for music featuring electronic sounds and the compositional use of tape recorders. He was born to Dutch parents in Java, Indonesia.
Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse (1883 – 1965) was an innovative French-born composer who spent the greater part of his career in the United States.
Composer Ton Bruynèl (1934-1998) was focused enthusiastically on the French musique concrète.
Composer, theorist and theatre producer Dick Raaijmakers (1930-2013) pioneered Dutch electronic/tape music in the 1950s. He founded the ArtScience Interfaculty in The Hague, was a noted essayist and author on sound, and was widely honoured for his contributions to music, theatre and the visual arts.
Kees Tazelaar is a composer and sonologist. In addition to his own works he has contributed to music theatre projects, and in recent years has worked intensively on the restoration and reconstruction of major electronic works from the past including pieces by Edgard Varèse, Iannis Xenakis, and György Ligeti.
Jaap Spek (1929–2001) was a sound engineer and philosopher associated with the WDR Studios in Cologne, where he worked with Stockhausen, among other notable experimentalists.
Will Eisma (1929, Indonesia) is a composer and a violinist. He was one of the founders of the ICÉ (Electro Instrumental Group) for which he composed various works in which live electronics play an essential role.
Thomas (Tom) Dissevelt (1921–1989) was a Dutch composer and musician known as a pioneer in the merging of electronic music and jazz.
Gottfried Michael Koenig (1926) is a contemporary German-Dutch composer.