Comfort Zone

The Salon - Freedom

Visiting Matangi, Mohamedou Ould Slahi Houbeini and Pieter van der Wielen

11:45 - 13:15 Salon Podium
11:45 - 13:15 Salon Podium

Since 2021, The Salon has been a regular feature of Comfort Zone: a program full of beautiful music and engaging conversations in a home-like setting. The theme of this Salon is Freedom. Radio producer and Never-more-sleep presenter Pieter van der Wielen hosts the Matangi string quartet and enters into conversation with Mauritanian-born writer Mohamedou Ould Slahi Houbeini.

Guantanamo Bay
Shortly after 9/11, Houbeini was arrested by the Americans on suspicion of complicity in terrorism and then innocently imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay. There he stayed for 15 years without charge, underwent all kinds of torture and constantly faced the death penalty. The film The Mauritanian about these events became a worldwide success. He is now writer-in-residence in Groningen at the invitation of the NITE Ensemble (Club Guy & Roni and Noord Nederlands Toneel). Pieter talks to him about freedom, both in the universal sense and what it means to him personally.

Matangi plays Icon by Silvestrov, who never got to compose freely under Soviet rule and now fled the war in Ukraine and the second movement from Beethoven's string quartet opus 130. His urge to compose in freedom clashed with the spirit of the times. Also on the program is Mozart who, as a child prodigy, sighed under the yoke of his father, which he sometimes succeeded in his music. The concert ends with Schubert (once almost arrested) and Stravinsky who was suspected of folk song desecration that even involved the police. Thus the music forms an admittedly serious but light-hearted counterpoint during this Salon.


  • Matangi
    More about
  • Mohamedou Ould Slahi Houbeini
  • Pieter van der Wielen

Valentin Silvestrov - Icon
Ludwig van Beethoven - String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat major, opus 130 (Presto and Cavatina)
Wolgang Amadeus Mozart - String Quartet No. 16 in E-flat major, KV 428 (Andante)
Franz Schubert - Quartettsatz in c minor, D. 703
Igor Stravinsky - Three Pieces for Clarinet (arr.)

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Oranjewoud Festival is a low-threshold, multifaceted and stimulating music festival in the fairytale parkland of Oranjewoud near Heerenveen (Friesland) | May 30 to June 2, 2024

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