Kaija Saariaho (Lichtbogen, 1986)
Daan Janssens (…Sans rien dire…, 2019)
Serge Verstockt (Les Nymphéas digitales, première 2022)
Luciano Berio (Sequenza II, 1963)

Musical team

Koen Kessels (conductor)
Mireille Capelle (mezzo soprano, Theremin, putipu)
Karin de Fleyt (flute, rommelpot, Marxophone)
Peter Merckx (foekepot, e-clarinet)
Stijn Saveniers (rumlepot, cello, mandocello)
Marc Tooten (viola, zambumbia, erhu)
Geert Callaert (piano, petador, guzheng)
Gaetan La Mela (percussion, gusachyok, friction drum, daf, zambomba)
Mathilde Wauters (harp)

Technical staff

Peter Swinnen (elektronica)
Lars Morren (sound)
Istvan Leel-Össy (image)
Gregor Van Mulders (technique)

In collaboration with

ARTICULATE Research Days

HERMESensemble and ChampdAction take us on a trip through three sound worlds: the world of the aurora borealis, the world of color and the digital world.

What would the aurora borealis sound like?

With LICHTBOGEN, Kaija Saariaho makes us experience the aurora borealis. We feel a unique cooled brilliance. The work is a landmark for music for ensemble and a stereo electronic part.

How does color acquire sound?

In …SANS RIEN DIRE… by Daan Janssens we explore how a bright play of colors acquires sound. At the same time, the menacing, nocturnal darkness falls. We hear this dramatic development through the electronic instrumentation. This composition is a contemporary response to Karlheinz Stockhausen’s iconic Kontakte, and refers among other things to his four-channel use of electronics. (This work will not be performed on 27 April 2022, but will be at other times).

How does the glitch sound?

Serge Verstockt takes us to the last stage of the journey. With LES NYMPHEAS DIGITALES he designs an octophonic world: an eight-channel experience. The digital world, where physical laws do not apply, and reality are increasingly fusing into a new reality. Without realizing it, our most intimate thoughts and images surf on an ice-cold stream of binary code where there is no doubt: it is 1 or 0.

Sometimes the ‘glitch’ strikes: disruption. And that is where the two worlds meet. In the composition we hear razor-sharp digital glitches colliding with impressionistic clouds of sound.

For composer Serge Verstockt, this work is right on top of today’s struggle: “It was as if I felt it coming. The rational glitches in the composition and the smashed apples symbolise the ‘Ungesellige Geselligkeit’. They symbolise that the most obvious solution, sharing the apples, does not work. Unfortunately, mankind is not yet ready for a universal, peaceful solution. Even war is part of the rational thought to eventually end up in stable peace: ‘zum ewigen Frieden’. That is why we must of necessity cling to Immanuel Kant’s ‘rational agents’.

Verstockt’s new work is a nod to the Impressionists and the sound world of Claude Debussy. In the Bijloke, the concert will therefore have a coda in the form of the SEQUENZA II by Luciano Berio, the most impressionist in the series.