Arraiolos and the Arts


It has been a somewhat lazy three weeks, here in Arraiolos. I have been taking care of Fransisco and Carmen, lovely twins of about 13 months old, almost finished a composition, started some online courses, explored a myth about church bells communicating who died – which sadly was not true – and spend a morning in Evora, the beautiful capital of the region.

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Fête des Remparts

Brittany, July 2016

I believe the the Bretons are a proud people. They have a good right too be, as only ‘celtic’ people in France, they are in a unique position with a very specific culture and history. Last week we saw how traditions were revived and kept alive with the Festou-Noz, this week we will see a celebration of Medieval history at the Fête de Remparts in Dinan.

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Visiting the Jungle

INTERESTED PERSON: “So, what are your plans after graduation?”

ME “Well, I am planning on making a journey through Europe, looking for different roles music can play at different places and for different people.”

INTERESTED PERSON: “That is such a nice idea! But… (either one of the following:)  You should not go hitchhiking/stay with people you don’t know/take risks unnecessarily and please be very very careful.”

After having had this conversation for a few months now, I finally started my journey! Against all advises I left with someone I only saw once before, to “the Jungle” (refugee camp) in Calais, and later traveling to Dunkerque that evening to sleep at a couch of someone I’d only talked to on Couchsurfing. I am not particularly brave and as my very first day ignored all the ‘suggestions’ people had given me to avoid during my journey, I was quite nervous…

That same very first day, however, has also proven to be a very impressive one and absolutely worth the nerves. I had lot’s of interesting conversations during my ride with Hans and had a lovely stay with Mostafa. But most impressive was my visit to the refugee camp near Calais.

Above I have posted the image of a building in Dunkerque and the sounds it was surrounded by. The building, situated only 30 minutes from the camp states the French motto: Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité. Below a reflection of these values in the camp.*

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Sometimes I Wonder…


I have been working really hard on some new choir pieces recently.  Just thought I would share this older one, once more! Text by Steinar Boomsma, Image by Sofie van Ek, Performed by The Roosevelt College Choir.

The Story of a Musical Piece

Have you ever had a brilliant (musical) idea, but were struggling with how to continue your composition? No worries, you are in good company  – Arnold Schönberg had exactly the same problem. Some of his solutions involved following a text or creating a symphonic poem.* Using music as a narrator, either to help you develop your musical ideas or simply because it is perfect for the job, has been done many times throughout history. And so did I…

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The Road to the New Forest

It is finished! Two years of work, recording, composing, editing and it is all done! It started as a small project, with my friend Emmy Nellissen, author of the script and fellow editor. Audio dramas had been fascinating me for a while. They might not be seen as ‘musical compositions’, but they are gatherings of sounds, organized in such a way they serve their purpose – absorbing you in the story – perfectly.

With the help from over 20 students, we produced the four episodes of The Road to the New Forest. The series tells the story of Archie, Simon, Mary  and a few other guests a the White Horse Inn sharing the local legend of the Black Deer. It is a magical tale, interesting for people of all ages.

Sofie van Ek made some awesome images to accompany the audio, so enjoy!

Episode 1: The black deer


Episode 2: It’s a love story


Episode 3: The timberman and his wife


Episode 4: The voice and the violin


Do you know some awesome audio dramas I should absolutely know about? Let me know!