Hibernation is a work consisting of film, soundtrack and live piano. I created the work as part of the course Multimedia and Compositon, taught by Dutch composer Celia Swart.
In autumn 2021, someone told me about the amazing view from the top floor of the highest building of Tilburg University (called Koopmans), which looks over the Oude Warande, a local forest. I went to check it out immediately, was mesmerized by the autumnal colours and decided to go there again and capture the sights and sounds with a video camera and a tape recorder. Until six months later, I didn’t really know how to process all data into something I liked. Then, suddenly, I knew what to do and how I wanted it. Thus, Hibernation came into existence.
The film and soundtrack are fixed, but the live piano consists of parts sections which need to be synchronized with the film and sections which are essentially guided improvisations. The recording below features one possible execution of the piano part, but there are many ways to realize it. In an actual performance or exhibition, it’s preferred that the performer is visible. In addition, the work is also cyclical, so could be performed multiple times after each other, or even endlessly.
Sencha is a work for piano solo written in 2021, in a period when I was diving into Japanese art and culture, especially aesthetics and the influences of Zen-Buddhism. The piece is a successor to the earlier tea piece called Kobucha. Both types of teas are distinctly different, but there are many similarities too. With green tea, it’s common practise to brew multiple cups from the same portion of leaves. I could enjoy the first cup, the strongest, but also the last cup, the mildest. To me, the green tea captures both sides, which is only possible if you use the same leaves for the first and last cup.
For piano solo. Nominated for the Tera de Marez Oyens Award 2021.
Kobucha is a work for piano solo written in 2020, in a period when I was diving into Japanese art and culture, especially aesthetics and the influences of Zen-Buddhism. In addition, I was taking Japanese lessons from a native speaker. In one of those lessons, my teacher gave me a Japanese kelp tea to drink, Kobucha.
Drinking this tea made a deep impression on me. I couldn’t say that the tea was delicious in the way people commonly call foods and beverages delicious – that is the antonym of tasteless. It wasn’t sweet at all and it wasn’t easy to drink. Each sip was a salty hurdle! However, the direct, impulsive and authentic taste was intense, even mind-blowing. In fact, I did like the tea. It was a pleasing experience. Not because of its questioned deliciousness, but because the tea was itself, its authentic self. Taking into account the tea’s pungent aroma, I was forced to do nothing but drinking this tea, swallowing one drop at the time.