Serge Verstockt: DRIE – first movement (for 1 conductor, 2 soloists, and 12–20 amateur players surrounding the audience) 12′
Simon Steen-Andersen: Schlummert Ein (for cello, trombone, and keyboard) 17′
Thierry De Mey: Light Music (for conductor and technician) 22′
Nadar Ensemble (Belgium) return to Music Current Festival with programme centred on light (and darkness). In Drie, Serge Verstockt switches off all visual stimuli to clear the path for primal instinctive listening. Through the lighting and blowing out of matches, a surprising and tactile sound sculpture emerges. Simon Steen-Andersen, with his arrangement of Schlummert ein from Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantata ‘Ich habe genuch‘, literally extinguishes the light and movingly depicts Bach’s ‘lullaby of eternal sleep’. In Light Music by Thierry De Mey (also known from Musique de table), a soloist connected to Wi-Fi sensors seems to ‘paint’ light and sound, as if conjuring sound from the darkness.
Adventure, interdisciplinarity and above all a strong and critical contact with today’s world through the use of new technologies. These are some of the main objectives for the Nadar Ensemble and what we hope to share with Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (1820-1910), whose pseudonym was Nadar. He was not only a well-known photographer, balloonist, caricaturist, spy, art critic and curator, but he also regularly organized informal “salons” to which he invited artists, thinkers, writers and scientists, thus creating a true cross-disciplinary dialogue.
Since our 21st century is pluriform, multi- and transmedial, and is more and more inhabited by digital natives and a networked generation Nadar Ensemble is not only fascinated by contemporary music, but also by film, visual arts, performance, theatre, installation art and all that is contained – or not – by these categories. The Nadar Ensemble wishes to develop forms of musical presentation that reflect this world, in an attempt to anchor new music more strongly in today’s world.
Nadar performed at the Darmstadt International Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Tzlil Meudcan Tel Aviv, Ultima Oslo, Platforma Moskou, Holland Festival, Opera Göteborg, Tfnm Zürich, San Martin Buenos Aires, Acht Brücken Cologne, Tampere Biennale Finland, Harvard University Boston… Nadar was invited as guest curator for the SPOR festival in Århus. Although Nadar is artist in residence at DE SINGEL Antwerp, its hometown is Sint-Niklaas, known for its famous hot air balloon festival.
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“Anyone who has followed the Belgian new-music group the Nadar Ensemble during these last years will know that very little of what they do is ‘inside the box.” (Annemarie Peeters, Cambridge University Press)