Music for Dance
Delicate, precise, emotional, soft, loud, gentle, powerfull, smooth maybe even sexy. There are many words to describe textures in dance. As a composer I am always looking for a way to immerse the audience into the world of the choreographer by supporting the performance on stage with sound. It is a difficult task, there is a fine line bitween being too subtle and on the other side overpowering. For multiple years I have been making music for various choreographers in different styles. Every time a new piece comes around I tempt to make it my "Opus Magnum".
Being a dancer and performing artist myself gives me the advantage of knowing what "feels good" to dance to. This is of course a subjective matter that changes over time and also gets influenced by the input of the choreographer. But nevertheless, I believe that a deep understanding of composition, choreography and dramaturgy is a must for a theatrical composer. Knowing when to "go with the flow" or when to make counterpoints is crucial for making a piece exciting and most of al suprising.
Scoring is a process of finding moments when the sound really takes center stage or when it generates room for movement. In a way music is an entity that is performing on stage alongside the dancers. It can be the backdrop but also a soloist or become part of the ensemble.
Sessions Vol. 1 (2018)
Live EP consisting of selections of a 5 hour completely improvised set done at Music Movement Sessions on the 17th of May 2018. This session was made possible by Moving Together: Activism, Art and Education - A Week with Angela Davis. We (Melvin and I) were asked to do a session with some visitors of the event. It was an amazing experience and I hope it resonates in the music. Thanks to all the attendees and Artbeat Amsterdam.
This set was played from scratch using Ableton, a Novation Circuit and a Microphone. All of these tracks were recorded while improvising live. No preperation, just raw creativity. I am hoping to be able to do more of these fast-lane releases in the future (volume 1 means there are gonna be more volumes, right?).
This album is a compilation of music I wrote over the past five years for various dance pieces working with a diverse range of choreographers with each their own unique style. It's music made for the theatre. Most pieces have been cut up into parts and retitled to taste.
My musical work in the theatre is significantly different from when I make a song. I see music as a very important dramaturgic element of a dance performance. The dancers paint figures in space with their bodies and I feel like the music should be a supplement for that. The music in a sense is the decor for a dance piece.
Every dance is different and every dancer is unique. I always feel like I am collaborating with a choreographer to make one piece. We both explore the same world just through different mediums. There is nothing more exciting then a first rehearsal in my opinion. When most of the time there is just a 16 bar loop playing in the background that slowly modulates as the time passes. When the music and dance flow with eachother in harmony is when you know that you have a job well done. The fragile truth of it all is that in theatre, when it's done, it's gone. It is an experience that you can only come to see and feel, not something that you can put in a museum or capture on tape.
With that in mind I really wanted to have these works "out there" to make sure I don't forget them, everyone of these soundscapes carry a lot of experience for me with them as a producer and I would like to go back to those from time to time in an accessible way. Sometimes it is also good to be proud of your work and to give it a monument that other people can experience too. In the end, I make my music because I like it and I hope you do too. If you got to this point in this text, thanks for reading, it sincerely means the world to my that anyone would be interested enough to take a peek into what I do and what I am passionate about. I feel humbled by the opportunities that have been given to me and I hope to keep learning every day for the rest of my life.