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Name: Maya Verlaak

PhD: Composition (Music)

Thesis Title:

 Reinventing instruments.
 Composing new music, where the compositional processes embody the properties of instruments.

 

 Hexenhaus - A scrutinising compositional position

Thesis Description: 

How can I, as composer, creatively use the properties and contexts of musical instruments as a catalyst for compositional processes, examining the complex set of philosophical, scientific, and political concepts involved in their construction, use, and legitimation? How can the contextualization of instruments be used as methodological tools for the creation of new music, relating the compositional forms and processes to the properties of the instruments?

Because of this working method, my pieces will be tied to particular performers and instruments. This necessitates rewriting the piece when it is taken up by different performers, forcing me to re-evaluate the connection between my musical concepts and their means of execution. 

 

Etymologically[1], the Dutch word for ‘witch’, ‘Heks’, originates from the Germanic ‘Hexe’ and is related to the word Haga or, in Dutch, ‘Haag’ or ‘Hekken’ which means ‘hedge’ or ‘fence’.  A ‘Hexe’ is someone who is needed—but not welcome—in society. They must remain on the margin, by the fence. A ‘Hexe’-artist needs to be on that margin in order to reflect and evaluate from a distance.

Taking the position of the ‘Hexe’ when composing a new piece of music, results in being analytical of all parameters in a given context. I will not only deconstruct and reconstruct but also continuously self-reflect. I will approach everything around me critically: stepping out of society and observing it from the outside, daring to attack its foundations. This process creates a distance from my subject because I am standing near the fence so to speak, observing the situation from the periphery. As a result, these contextual reflections become the subject of a compositional process.

By applying the ‘Hexenhaus’ as methodological tool and catalyst for new work, a scrutinising approach emerges. This scrutinising process is continuously applied, in the compositional process, as well as during the rehearsal processes. This has a number of results: it generates a compositional attitude of continuous reflection in which nothing is taken for granted; it often results in a new kind of relationship with the performers and/or collaborators; and it necessitates an alternative performance practice.


[1] Etymologiebank.nl. (2010). etymologiebank.nl. [online] Available at: http://www.etymologiebank.nl/trefwoord/heks [Accessed 29 Jan. 2018].

Supervisors and Institution(s): Dr. Michael Wolters, Howard Skempton, Birmingham City University. Dr John Richards, Montfort University, Leicester.

 

Publications (please include full details with page nos. or web links):

Publications
Audio DH - release (September 2016)

http://maya.ricercata.org/publications.html

October 2017 - Synzine#6: 6 new musical games by Ophir Ilzetzky, Maya Verlaak, Lilo Nein, Avner Amit, Sam Taylor and Maya Felixbrodt + Zvov.

Synzine#6 is available free online or printed in Birmingham, UK by stenton.press
'Synzine' is a magazine for musical games meant to be played at home and outdoors with your friends, family or by yourself. 

 

June 2017 - Music and/as Process album
"All English Music is Greensleeves" for solo accordion
Performed by Howard Skempton
Published by reductive. 
(All rights belong to their respective artists)

 

September 2016 - Audio DH - release
Sonic Manifestations by 250 artists from Den Haag
Concept & Direction: Francisco López
General Coordination: Barbara Ellison
Production: iii

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Includes:
'Tape piece' by Maya Verlaak & Andy Ingamells
'Song for the Beach Carillon (II)' with Leo Svirsky & Maya Verlaak
'Introduction to Topaksy' with Yedo Gibson & Maya Verlaak
'Damien Hirst is a fucking fuck' with Acid Police Noise Ensemble

Book

 

September 2016 - Book for new Carillon music - Stichting Carillon Den Haag
Haags Beiaardboek 5, New Catch 2015, New Carillon compositions by composers from The Hague (NL)
Editor: Gijsbert Kok
's-Gravenhage (2016)

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2014 - London Sinfonietta

performing

Performing 'All Verlaak's Music is Alouette'

(2014)

Acid

NMC Recordings


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2013 - Acid Police Noise Ensemble: Live at

Delta    
performer in works

Delta Works by G Douglas Barrett, Joseph Kudirka, Taylan Susam and James Tenney

Acid Police Noise Ensemble

APNE, (2013)


Image RemovedSynzine#3:ALMOSTNONOTES
Works by Andy Ingamels, Cristiano Melli, Anna Mikhailova, Michalis Paraskakis, Daniel Slabosky, Georgi Sztojanov, Yasmin Tal-Porat, Akiko Ushijima, Maya Verlaak, Robert Blatt and Lucie Vitkova
SYNPROJECT (2012)
     
Image RemovedEavesdropping
Includes the work 'Pars Pro Toto'
Performer/composer with Acid Police Noise Ensemble
and other works by Anne Wellmer, BMB con., Jeroen Uyttendaele, Lars Kynde, Michele Spanghero, Wen Chin Fu
Neural (2012)
  
Image RemovedExtraordinary Renditions - Acid Police Noise Ensemble
including Pop Dust I, II, III
and other works or collaborations 
with David Pocknee, 
Leo Svirsky and Robert Blatt
Released on Zero Moon (2011)
My work and/or collaborations have also been mentioned/referred to in the following publications:
Tempo - A quarterly review of new music
Vol.70 No.278 - October 2016
Erwin M., (2016) Here comes newer despair. Cambrdige university press, pp 15 
Exit Gemak, All Art is Political (2015) 
Operandi. Gemak, The Hague (NL) pp 32- 33

Public Engagement Activities:

TitleYearInstrument(s)Performer(s)LenghtPerformedClick for more 
information and recordingsDarmstadt Hugging Music2016The International Summer Course for New Music Darmstadt audience.Maya Verlaak and
the International Summer Course for New Music Darmstadt audience
4 hours10/08/2016
Kunsthalle, Darmstadt (DE)Click for more information and recordingsCarrier
2016Brass and Percussion:
5 horns, 8 trumpets
2 tenor trombones, bass trombone, cimbasso
timpani and bass drumBirmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra
3 min.26/06/2016
Adrian Boult Hall. 
Commissioned by Birmingham Conservatoire,
City of Sounds Festival.
Click for more information and recordingsScacciare Pensieri2016
Mouth Harp
Mouth percussionPercussion Quartet: Abstrukt. 12 min.01/06/2016
St James’ Church, Islington, N1 8PF, London
Commissioned by 840 series.
Click for more information and recordingsDance
2016Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Double Bass, Percussion, Piano, Electronics
X.Y ensemble, London7 min.20/05/2016
I'klektik Gallery, Lambeth SE1 7LG, London, 20:00
Click for more information and recordingsAll English Music is Greensleeves (II)
2016Accordion and
electronics1) Howard Skempton
   Maya Verlaak
2) Andy Ingamells
   Paul Norman
3) Howard Skempton
   Maya Verlaak9 min.1) 13/03/2016
Birmingham Conservatoire, Arena Foyer.
(part of the Frontiers Plus Festival)
2) 12/05/2016
M3C Research Festival, Nottingham conference Centre(UK)
3)02/07/2016
RMA Music and/as Process, 4th Annual Conference Bath Spa University
Click for more information and recordings
Serin, Seriner, Serinette
20168 recorders
Music boxRecorder Departement3 min.16/03/2016
Birmingham Conservatoire, Arena Foyer, 19:30
(part of the Frontiers Plus Festival)
Click for more information and recordings
The Telharmonium
2016Harp, Flute, Violin, Clarinet, Trombone, Cello, Horn, Vibraphone, harmonium reeds and Conductor (Richard Baker)Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG)45 min.16/03/2016
CBSO Centre, Birmingham.
(part of the Frontiers Plus Festival)
There will be more information soon
Birds & Thirds
2016Guitar
ElectronicsShannon Latoyah Simon7 min.10/03/2016
Six Eight Kafe
Temple Row, B2 5HG Birmingham, 17:00
(part of the Frontiers Plus Festival)
Click for more information and recordings
Genius Loci2016
Music box
Melodica
SpeechMaya Verlaak
Ward de Jonghe20 min.04/03/2016
Opening of the new exhibition at Galerie de Buck, Ghent, Belgium, 20:00
Click for more information and recordings
Ding Dong2016
Door-bells and electronicsSam Leith Taylor Zachaeus James Dawson
Maya Verlaak
1 min.24/02/2016
The Birmingham Post Paradise Series.Click for more information and recordings
Under Pressure
2016Tubes, Glasses, BalloonsSam Leith Taylor Zachaeus James Dawson
Maya Verlaak4 min.24/02/2016
The Birmingham Post Paradise Series.Click for more information and recordings
Bolleke
2015Music Box
Old cassette recording
SpeechMaya Verlaak8 min.07/12/2015
Cherry Reds, Night of the Unexpected, Birmingham (UK)Click for more information and recordings
Dokter Bibber
2015Electronics, cups of water, light and Thranophone Sam Leith Taylor
James A. McEwan
Maya Verlaak5 min.11/11/2015 
Birmingham Conservatoire, Recital Hall, 19:00Click for more information and recordings
The Carillon in Paradise
2015A Carilon fence at Paradise Place, Birmingham
a thick rope and a placard
All passersby1 weekOctober 2015, Paradise Place, Birmingham B3 3HG, (UK)Click for more information"Brass II"2015Electronics, Violin, Viola, Cello, 
Clarinet, Flute, Marimba and Piano
New European Ensemble and Maya Verlaak (soloist)10 min.12/09/2015
Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Utrecht (NL)Click for more 
information and recordings
For 6 Nail Violins (II)20156 Nail Violins and fixed media1) Maya Felixbrodt
   Liisa Hirsch
   James Hewitt
   Ethan Braun
   Lam Lai
   Maya Verlaak
2) Mikołaj Laskowski
   Manuel J Sánchez     García
   Seán ó Dálaigh
   Meriç Artaç
   Gabriel Salcedo
   Maya Verlaak
3) Sam Leigh Taylor
   Shannon Latoyah Simon        
   Maya Verlaak 
6 min.1) 26/06/2015
The Hague 
Royal Conservatoire (NL)
2) 12/09/2015
Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Utrecht (NL)Performed by the 6 composers on “the present-day composers refuse to die” 
3) 18/11/2015
De Montfort University, Leicester, PACE studio 1, 20:00
Click for more 
information and recordings
Reinventing2015Reinvented Tromba Marina, Nail Violin, 
Glass Harmonica, Lira Organizzata, Aeolian Harp,
Ocular Harpsichord and Violin
Ana Lemnaru
James Hewitt
Maya Verlaak35 min.25/06/2015
Studio Loos
Wonderserp series
The Hague, (NL)Click for more 
information and recordings
For 6 Nail Violins (I)20156 Nail Violins, fixed media and sine tones
Khz Collective4 min.11/06/2015
Holland Festival, Amsterdam Rijksmuseum
 Resonances and Douze Interpretations
After Boulez Douze Notations
2015PercussionPercussion students,
Royal Conservatoire of The Hague (NL)2x
1 min.04/06/2015
Holland Festival, Amsterdam Rijksmuseum Song for the Beach Carillon (II)2015Piano, guitar and electronicsLeo Svirsky
Maya Verlaak7 min.11/05/2015
Korzo Theatre
The Hague (NL)
Click for more 
information and recordings
Song for the Beach Carillon (I)2015CarillonGijsbert Kok10 min.17/04/2015
Grote Kerk
The Hague (NL)
There will be more information soon"Brass"2015Melodica, Violin, Viola, Cello, 
Clarinet, Flute, Marimba and Piano
New European Ensemble and 
Peter Adriaansz (on Melodica)9 min.17/04/2015
The Hague
Royal Conservatoire (NL)Click for more 
information and recordings
Reinventing Forgotten Instruments 
(series of 7 pieces)2014
20151) The Glass Harmonica
2) The Nail Violin
3) The Tromba Marina
4) The Aeolian Harp
5) The Lira Organizzata
6) The Cat piano
vs the Clavecin Electrique
7) The Clavecin OculaireMaya Verlaak
James Hewitt
Ana Smaragda Lemnaru
Richard Hames
Ivan Renqvist Babinciak
Leo Svirsky
Luke Deane7 x
10 min.1) 13/10/2014 
2) 1/11/2014 
3) 6/12/2014 
4) 10/01/2015 
5) 7/02/2015 
6) 7/03/2015 
7) 11/04/2015
Studio 3, The Hague
Royal Conservatoire
(NL)
Click for more 
information and recordings
Series: All (x) music is (y)
All Verlaak's Music is Alouette (II)2014Music Box, Oboe
Bass Clarinet, Bassoon
Electric Guitar,Violin,
Double Bass, Percussion (Glockenspiel)
ACM Ensemble
(Another Contemporary Music Ensemble)6 min.26/11/2014
Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival (UK)Click for more 
information and recordings
Series: All (x) music is (y)
All Dutch’s Music is Andriessen
2014Guitar Piano
Oboe Saxophones TromboneEnsemble Klang10 min.09/2014
Gaudeamus Muziekweek,Utrecht (NL)Click for more 
information and recordings
Series: All (x) music is (y)
All Verlaak’s Music is Alouette (I)
2014Violin, Double bass Harp, bassoon, oboe, percussionLondon Sinfonietta (UK)7 min.08/2014
NMC recordings studio (UK)Click for more 
information and recordings
Walking the voice and the Lens
by Patrick & Maya Verlaak
2014Video,drawings, performerMaya Verlaak, Patrick Verlaak14 min.06/2014
Curated by Ed McKeon, London, June 2014Click for more 
information and recordings
       

 

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Public Engagement Activities:

2 June

2018

SONG&DANCE: An excessively elaborate effort to explain or justify' 

Performed by Late Music Ensemble, based in York, UK

Concert at 19:30,  St. Saviourgate, York, YO1 8NQ, United Kingdom

28 May

2018

New work for 25 electric guitars

The Fringe Guitar Project, a production of the Ensemble Klang Foundation in association with the Academy for Music and the Performing Arts, Tilburg (AMPA)

Concert at the Concertzaal, Tilburg, Netherlands

26 May

2018

New work for 25 electric guitars

The Fringe Guitar Project, a production of the Ensemble Klang Foundation in association with the Academy for Music and the Performing Arts, Tilburg (AMPA)

Concert at Dag in de Branding Festival in The Hague, Netherlands

9 May 2018

Performance of 'KlangfarbenTanz', in collaboration with - and performed by Karin de Fleyt.

Concert at PACE studio 1, Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom

22 April 2018

New work for 25 electric guitars

The Fringe Guitar Project, a production of the Ensemble Klang Foundation in association with the Academy for Music and the Performing Arts, Tilburg (AMPA) 

Concert at the Red Sofa Series in De Doelen Concert Hall, Rotterdam, Netherlands

23 March

2018

SONG&DANCE: An excessively elaborate effort to explain or justify' 

Performed by: Denera James, Lester St.louis, Joseaugusto Mejía, Jesse Greenberg, Assaf Gidron, тео дора and Maya Verlaak

8pm MISE-EN_PLACE, 678 Hart St, Brooklyn 11221, New York, USA

7 March 2018

Performance of 'Synthesis' written for and performed by 'Decibel'

The Lab, Birmingham Conservatoire, United Kingdom

19 - 24 February

2018

Invited as guest at the College of Music, Seoul National University, the Republic of Korea

Performance of SONG&DANCE: An excessively elaborate effort to explain or justify'

5 February

2018

Radio broadcast of SONG&DANCE: An excessively elaborate effort to explain or justify' Written for and performed by IEMA (International Ensemble Modern Academy). 

On the dutch radio station: Concertzender

7 December

2017

Performance of 'Tape Piece' by Maya Verlaak and Andy Ingamells

Performed by Rowland Hill and Jack Sheen

At London Contemporary Music Festival: http://lcmf.co.uk

As part of 'New Intimacy': http://lcmf.co.uk/7-DecemberNew-Intimacy-I-1

2 December 2017

Performance of 'Tape Piece' by Maya Verlaak and Andy Ingamells

Performed by Lawrence Dunn and Jack Sheen 

At LEGROOM, 19:00

Unit 4, Great Northern Tower, Watson Street, M3 4EE Manchester (UK)

25 November

2017

Mixed performances, In collaboration with Dirty Electronics at Punctum, Prague,(CZ)

Including a performance of 'A hard Days Night', performed by Maya Verlaak

http://www.punctum.cz/

http://www.dirtyelectronics.org/menu.html

24 November

2017

'Making for Radio', in collaboration with Dirty Electronics

Public concert and recording for Czech Radio

At Škroupovo náměstí 4, 130 00, Prague 3

(broadcast on 6 December 2017)

http://www.musa.cz/czech-radio-studio-no-1.htm

http://www.dirtyelectronics.org/menu.html

18 September 2017

Performance of 'SONG&DANCE: An excessively elaborate effort to explain or justify' Written for and performed by IEMA (International Ensemble Modern Academy).

Concert at Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Kleiner Saal, Frankfurt am Main (Germany)

https://www.internationale-em-akademie.de/en/concerts_iema/2017-09

7  September 2017

Performance of 'SONG&DANCE: An excessively elaborate effort to explain or justify' Written for and performed by IEMA, (International Ensemble Modern Academy).

Concert at Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Utrecht (NL)

https://gaudeamus.nl/en/events/frankfurt-youngsters/

16 July

2017

Performance of 'SONG&DANCE(II): An excessively elaborate effort to explain or justify'

Written for Divertimento Ensemble in Italy

Concert in Bobbio, Auditorium Santa Chiara di Bobbio, Piacenza.

20 June

2017

Player piano project  in collaboration with Martin Perkins

Concert at CODA festival

The last performances at Birmingham Conservatoire before the building is demolished.

20 June

2017

Performance of 'All English Music is Greensleeves (II)' version for 2 melodicas

Performed by Oliver Farrow and Maya Verlaak

Concert at CODA festival

The last performances at Birmingham Conservatoire before the building is demolished.

Birmingham Conservatoire website link

18 June

2017

Performance of Clavecin oculaire (II)

Objects and Sound Night #1, StudioAcht, Berlin (DE)

25 May

2017

Performance of 'Tape Piece' by Maya Verlaak and Andy Ingamells

Performed by soundinitiative

Espace des arts sans frontières, Paris, France

25 May

2017

Performance-lecture of 'Johann Ludwig Luig'

M3C research festival

Stamfort Court, University of Leicester

16 May 

2017

Performance of Dance (III) in 5 movements

Rewritten for and performed by Jack Sheen and An Assembly

Concert at City, University of London Concert Series

Performance Space, City, University of London, College Building, 19:00-20:00

www.city.ac.uk

9 April

2017

Performance of 'Tape Piece' by Maya Verlaak and Andy Ingamells

Performed by DUOBAAN, (BE)

At Concertgebouw Brugge, Belgium

7 April

2017

Performance of 'Clavecin Oculaire (II)'

rewritten for Digbeth's first friday event at Centrala, Birmingham, UK

Post Paradise concert series in collaboration with Flatpack film festival.

24 March

2017

Performance of 'All English Music is Greensleeves (II)' version for 2 melodicas

Performed by Oliver Farrow and Maya Verlaak

Concert at'Remembering the Experimental Music Catalogue'concert 

at the Montfort University, Leicester, PACE studio 1: 

22 March

2017

Performance of 'Tape piece','Clavecin oculaire (II)'and 'A Hard Day's Night'

Performed by Maya Verlaak & Andy Ingamells

Concert at Montfort University, Leicester, PACE studio 1

13 March

2017

Performance of 'Johann Ludwig Luig'

Performed by Patrick Ellis

Concert at the Recital Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire (UK)

2 March

2017

Performance of 'Tape Piece' by Maya Verlaak and Andy Ingamells

Performed by Kirkos Ensemble

Concert at New Music Dublin Festival Club, National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland

12 February

2017

Concert in collaboration with Robert Blatt

Performance of 'Clavecin Oculaire' and 'A Hard Day's Night' (performed by Joseph Kudirka)

Concert at Keith, Berlin

10 February

2017

Performance of 'Tape Piece' by Maya Verlaak and Andy Ingamells

Performed by Andy Ingamells and Edward Henderson

New Teeth IV, Hackney Showroom, London, UK

8 February

2017

New work in collaboration with Robert Blatt. 

Concert at Studio Loos, Den Haag (NL)

2017-2018

Collaboration with Karin de Fleyt (Flute)

27 January 

2017

New work in collaboration with Robert Blatt. 

Concert at Birmingham Post Paradise Series,(UK)

9 December 2016

Presenting work in the subject of 'Composing as Performing' at the Hessian Theatre Academy,Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt am Main. 

In collaboration with Paul Norman and Andy Ingamells.

3 December 

2016 

'Hexenhaus', written for 'Dag in de Branding' festival, Den Haag (NL) 

Concert at Korzo Theater, Den Haag.

5-26 November

2016

Creating new work in residency with the 'Inlets ensemble', Miami, USA

Concert at AUDIOTHEQUE, Miami.

6 November 2016

Performance of 'Tape Piece' by Maya Verlaak and Andy Ingamells

Performed by Lia Kohl and Nick Meryhew

Concert at BOP STOP @ the Music Settlement, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

4 November

2016

'A Hard Days Night'(Woo!), Written for Digbeth's first friday event at East side projects, Birmingham, UK

8 October

2016

"Dance"(2016) Rewritten for a smaller ensemble: 

Germaine Sijstermans (clarinet), Ana Graça (French Horn), James Hewitt (violin), Cody Takács (double bass) Leo Svirsky (piano), Emil Tan Erten (percussion)

At Studio Loos, Den Haag (NL)

27 September

2016

"Greensleeves II" for Duo and "Tape Piece"

Performed by Andy Ingamells and Maya Verlaak

At ICC Birmingham 

Private performance for the 3rd M3C cohort.

2016 - 2017

Curating "Post Paradise", A Birmingham(UK) based New Music Concert Series!

At Centrala, Birmingham

22 September

2016

"Process"(2016)

Performed by Howard Skempton and Maya Verlaak

At Birmingham Conservatoire PhD presentations.

29 July-

14 August

2016

Darmstadt Summer course (DE)

Workshop/performance for 'Composer-Performer' with David Helbich and Jennifer Walshe.

2 July 2016

New work: "Process" 

Performed by Howard Skempton and Maya Verlaak

At RMA Music and/as Process 4th Annual Conference, Bath Spa University, UK

26 June 

2016

New work: "Carrier". 

Commissioned by Birmingham Conservatoire. 

A fanfare for the final concert at the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire. 

Performed by Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets and information here.

6-20 June 

2016

"Sand Songs" 

Residency in The Hague, Netherlands. 

In collaboration with Ana Smaragda Lemnaru, Grzegorz Marciniak, David Pocknee, Adam Basanta. 

Information about the iiinitiative Residency

1 June 

2016

New work: "Scacciare Pensieri" 

Commissioned by 840 series, written for Percussion Quartet: Abstrukt. 

At St James’ Church, Islington, N1 8PF, London. Tickets and information here

20 May 

2016

New work: "Dance" 

Commissioned by x.y ensemble, UK. 

At I'klektik Gallery, Lambeth SE1 7LG, London, 20:00

30 April 

2016

"Tape Piece"(2012) by Andy Ingamells and Maya Verlaak 

Performed by David Pocknee, Michael Baldwin, Louis d’Heudieres, Andy Ingamells and Maya Verlaak 

At  Weisslich series: Nexus Art Café Manchester (UK)

14 April 

2016

"Tape Piece"(2012) by Andy Ingamells and Maya Verlaak 

Performed by Mocrep ensemble (USA) at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, (USA)