This digital release includes a film and an audio album: we recommend to use headphones and enjoy the binaural version of both film and album. Both are also available in stereo.
SOUNDS OF THE YOUNG AVANT-GARDE VOL. 04. Gaudeamus and the independent label Unsounds are indispensable actors in the avant-garde and new music field, operating internationally from their common base in the Netherlands. With the Sounds of the Young Avant-Garde Collection, they collaborate to present some of the most forward moving sounds in contemporary music, as they are created today by young and mid-career makers. The works are original commissions by Gaudeamus and are selected, produced and released by Unsounds. This joint venture secures a new lease of life for these works apart from and beyond the live music stages, ensuring the most thrilling music of our day and age is preserved as veritable future classics.
In Petra Strahovnik's view our daily lives are a constant stream of ‘mental rapes’. Be it by the media, advertising, politics, we are subjected to myriads of micro-manipulations. Pleasure, pain or happiness – society will tell us what to think and feel at any time.
Amaranthine, a composition for piano and electronics was written specially for Dutch pianist Saskia Lankhoorn. With this piece Strahovnik wanted to create a sonic haven far removed from pre-concieved experiences. The piano is prepared with extremely powerful rare-earth magnets, capable of attracting as much as a thousand times their own weight. The pianist brings the little magnets slowly towards the string, moves them back and forth or holds them just above the string. It causes the tone to bend, and a very subtle ‘beating’ is created in the sound. Electronics are performed live by Micha de Kanter, who expands the sound beyond the acoustic realm with great sensibility. Amaranthine is an otherwordly piece, intense both for the performers and the audience.
For this release we have chosen the video medium in order to bring the immersive experience to the listener beyond the live performance. The piece was filmed and recorded within the magnificent concert hall of Villa Concordia in Bamberg. Vida Habjanic's artful camera comes very close to the performer and inside the grand piano, offering unique insights. As Lankhoorn delivers a real tour de force in intensity and restraint, we find ourselves in a pristine sound world that fulfills the promise of Strahovnik's ambitious title.
Petra is an innovative composer, with a depth of musical knowledge and experiences that enable her to achieve great intellectual and emotional impact. Her music is explicitly focused on the here and now;
Dutch pianist Saskia Lankhoorn is an active soloist and chamber musician in the contemporary music scene. Her critically acclaimed solo concerts combine new art music with a strong performance and sound concept, and strive to immerse the audience in a new sound world. Saskia is an active participant in the contemporary music scene in the Netherland with roles in leading ensembles and as a curator of ground breaking programs for Gaudeamus and Dag in de Branding. Her work has received acclaim at home and abroad.
Micha de Kanter is an independent recording engineer active in the contemporary, jazz and improvised music fields. He is a real creative contributor to complex works, performing live electronics alongside the most talented soloists and ensembles. Micha has worked wih Unsounds on many albums in the past and we are delighted to showcase his work here as a performer as well as sound engineer.
A director of photography, photographer and actress, Vida has a passion for anything that involves holding a camera, or teaching others to do it.
Filmed at Internationales Künsterhaus Villa Concordia Bamberg, Germany.
Amaranthine by Petra Strahovnik was written for Saskia Lankhoorn with the support of Gaudeamus and Festival Dag in de Branding.
This film is an initiative of Gaudeamus and Unsounds records, made with support from Internationales Künsterhaus Villa Concordia, and with funding from the Province of Utrecht and the City of Utrecht.
Music copyright: Petra Strahovnik 2018
Film copyright: Vida Habjanic 2021