In 2020, Oranjwoud Festival introduced the Oranjewoud Label. This refers to distinctive artistic projects in which the festival acts as commissioner or otherwise occupies a key position, but which subsequently manifest themselves elsewhere. Meanwhile, the festival can boast close involvement in a few eye-catching initiatives, including the composer project Toonzetters for which the festival received the New Geneco Fair Practice Award 2022 won.
Topping the list this year is a multi-year project with composer Joël Bons and the Atlas Ensemble that began during edition 2023. Founded by Bons in 2002, the ensemble combines instruments and playing cultures from around the world with Western ones. The result is an incredibly fascinating and inspiring wealth of sound that can be endlessly drawn from and further developed. This is in no small part due to the quality of the musicians, each of whom are world stars within their own culture.
The Atlas Project involves three consecutive residencies with accompanying composition commissions. The central question here is what happens to the collaborative sound and playing together when working with instrument groups. Although similar to a Western symphony orchestra, the Atlas Orchestra becomes different. After all, it is not only about the synthesis of sounds but also those of different (playing) cultures, with all the associated artistic, logistical and communicative challenges.
In addition to the premiere of Joël Bons' latest work for stringed instruments, the individual musicians can also be heard on Saturday and Sunday at Museum Belvédère.
What do today's twenty-somethings sound like? Toonzetters is a kaleidoscopic concert of twenty young Dutch composers. Different styles and characters, from neo-romantic percussion to piano sound sculptures and jazzy electronics, pass by in rapid succession. For an hour, a vivid portrait of music anno now unfolds, brought to you by four outstanding musicians with hypnotic film footage by Bowie Verschuuren and directorial advice by Jos van Kan. An album was released in 2023 by 7 Mountain Records.
Toonzetters is a project by composer Primo Ish-Hurwitz, produced by Oranjewoud Festival in collaboration with Stichting Pelgrimsjaren, November Music and Festival Dag in de Branding.
With this project Oranjewoud Festival won the New Geneco Fair Practice Award 2022
THE CALL OF THE SEMANTRON
A site work commissioned by the Greek composer Aspasia Nasopoulou to be written by Oranjewoud Festival for the Grand Canal south of Museum Belvédère. A semantron is a percussion instrument consisting of wooden panels struck by Greek Orthodox priests as bells are struck within Christian tradition. The other instrumentation consists of a saxophone quartet and percussion.
The half-hour work can be attended four times during the festival on Saturday May 27 and Sunday May 28 at 5:15 and 6:15 p.m.
ALL EYES ARE ON YOU
Commissioned by the 2022 festival, Mayke Nas created an installation and composition in one that looks like a flower bed consisting of 27 speakers on spinning stalks. The motivation for the work was Nas' fascination with the insect world and concern about declining biodiversity. However, the work is much more than an environmental activist pamphlet. It has too much humor and individuality for that. It forms a playful viewing and listening game in which the speakers seem to dance and almost take on something human.
All eyes are one you can be seen and heard daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Museum Belvédère.
SANCTUARY OF SOUND
Commissioned by Oranjewoud Festival , composer Miranda Driessen is writing a 72-hour location work for eight wind harps in a meadow. During the three 24-hour period, the harps will be changed tuning over fifty times. Under the influence of the wind, a piece of music in slow motion is created that reflects on the sky above, the empty grassland below and the surrounding horizon in the distance.
Starting in 2022, Oranjewoud Festival commissioned visual artists Paul and Menno de Nooijer and guitarist Izhar Elias for Folly Ball as part of the Night of the Park. This pilot formed the basis for the full-fledged performance The Folly about "truth" and which will premiere at the festival in 2023.
Concerto in Technicolor (2022)
Jazz violin concerto written by composer/pianist Thomas Beijer for Julia Philippens commissioned by Oranjewoud Festival and the Noord Nederlands Orkest. It was premiered on June 4, 2022 in Oranjewoud by the NNO conducted by Clark Rundell.
De Salon (2021)
To a concept by violinist Rosanne Philippens. The format has since evolved independently and is part of the regular programming of Oranjewoud Festival and SPOT Groningen / De Oosterpoort.
La Voix Humaine FaceTime (2018)
Coproduction of Oranjewoud Festival and LEKS to the classic by writer Jean Cocteau and composer Francis Poulenc, performed by mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Levental, pianist Yoram Ish-Hurwitz and director Chris Koolmees of LEKS.