Kaat Hellings
Ton van der Meer

Musical team

Kaat Hellings (voice)
Ton van der Meer (keys)
Stijn Saveniers (conductor, cello)
Karin de Fleyt (flute, alto flute, bass flute, shakuhachi)
Peter Merckx (clarinet, bass clarinet)
Marc Tooten (viola, viola d’ amore)
Geert Callaert (piano)
Gaetan La Mela (percussion)
Geert Hellings (guitar)

A coproduction with


With the support of

Stad Antwerpen

CHAMBER MUSIC is based on the timeless poem collection Chamber Music (1907) by the Irish writer James Joyce. CHAMBER MUSIC turns 36 poems by James Joyce into a full-fledged visual story.

One poem follows the other seamlessly, without pausing for breath. It is a musical flight through all facets of love!

This contemporary composition finds inspiration in chamber music, but is not limited to a purely classical interpretation of the concept. It draws from an amalgam of musical styles such as (minimalist) pop, electro, contemporary classical, jazz and folk, without lapsing into eclecticism or mannerism. The work is composed for a large diverse range of instruments and has a timeless character.

The background story

Chamber Music (1907) is a cycle of poetry (and youth work) by the Irish writer James Joyce. In addition to being a writer, he was also a promising pianist and singer. Partly for this reason, the individual poems from Chamber Music are often read as lyrics. In 2006 the Antwerp singer and composer Kaat Hellings set all thirty-six poems from the cycle to music. She engaged composer and keyboard player Ton van der Meer to create an appropriate sound spectrum in dialogue.

This resulted in the composition Chamber Music for voice, piano, samples, electronics and horn. This composition became the basis for the small-scale music theatre performance Chamber Music, a production by de Veenfabriek (NL, Leiden) & Theater Antigone (BE, Kortrijk), directed by Paul Koek. This composition had a limited tour of the Netherlands in 2007.

At the end of 2020 ToNAc (BE, Antwerp) reworked the original Chamber Music composition in co-production with HERMESensemble. This time for a mixed ensemble, in the presence and cooperation of both composers.