After a successful launch last year our series of free pop-up concerts are back in Amare! Last year The Big Loud Thing focused on the 50th jubilee of Orkest de Volharding, this year it’s our turn as we hit 20 years of Ensemble Klang, with the performances all revolving around our own two decades of sonic creation.
Across those years we’ve had the enormous pleasure to have worked with some of our musical heroes, from Heiner Goebbels to Éliane Radigue, Louis Andriessen to Bang on a Can. Maverick, single-minded and inspirational figures, all of whom create works that conjure new and unexpected worlds. This year’s Big Loud Thing allows us to dig up some highlights, fan favourites, and forgotten gems.
For each edition, we’ve invited someone different to select favourite works from the last twenty years of projects
The Big Loud Thing concerts at Amare take place prior to events in the main hall and in the entrance foyer. Admission is free and it is not necessary to book a ticket.
The Big Loud Thing 6
3 November, 19.30, Amare
Keir Neuringer – Thread – [4′] – 2003
Tom Johnson – Rational Melody XIII – [3′] – 2010
Mary-Jane Leach – Gulf War Syndrome – [6′] – 2018
Alex Paxton – Music for Bosch People – [15′] – 2021
Curated by Hans Eeuwes
Hans Eeuwes: ‘My connection to Klang started with Erik-Jan de With. Sometime in 2002, I attended a lunch concert by students of The Hague Conservatory. I was impressed by the playing of the saxophone quartet he was part of. I let him know that too. Erik-Jan told me he also played in another Conservatory ensemble, Ensemble Klang. Curious about the ensemble’s ‘sound’, I listened to one of the first concerts of the newly formed music ensemble. The compositions and playing were pure magic.
I was so impressed that I have followed Klang closely to this day, and have heard dozens of compositions during that time.
Something that comes in handy when Ensemble artistic director Pete Harden asks you to select your favourite compositions from 20 years of Ensemble Klang for the first The Big Loud Thing of 2023-2024.
With that question, many compositions popped into my head. Like Pierced, arranged especially for Klang by composer David Lang. But that requires a line-up with symphony orchestra. Or the mind-blowing Trance by Michael Gordon. But even that piece requires a colossal orchestral line-up. Otherwise, Professor Bad Trip by Italian composer Fausto Romitelli. Another piece for an XL instrumentation. These three dropped out.
But based more on the core line-up of six Klang musicians, Keir Neuringer’s piece Thread is a fine example from Ensemble Klang’s early days. When the members were still students at the Conservatory and they performed at each other’s exams as Ensemble Klang. This work really transcended the caverns of the old Conservatory building where it got its premiere.
And sensitive to rhythm, a few years later, American Tom Johnson‘s mathematical compositions were a revelation. With its driving baritone saxophone sounds, Rational Melody #13 is the topper.
In recent years, the ensemble’s Musical Utopia festivals have been the absolute highlight. A few years ago, Klang came up with a composition by Mary Jane Leach. A composer who threw herself into the musical legacy of Julius Eastman. But don’t discount her own compositions. Like the blistering Gulf War Syndrome. In which you should also keep a special eye on Michiel van Dijk, who plays a brilliant clarinet solo.
More recently, I attended the Gaudeamus Music Festival in Utrecht. Ensemble Klang is right at home there. Festively dressed, Klang appeared with an extra guitarist and trombonist. What followed was a dazzling rendition of Music for Bosch People by the young English composer and trombonist Alex Paxton. Cheerful, optimistic sounds to end this Big Loud Thing edition with!
- 3 November, Amare | Neuringer, Johnson, Leach & Paxton
- 1 December 2023, Amare | excerpts from O Death – Oscar Bettison (Ensemble Academy of the KC, coached by Ensemble Klang)
- 2 December 2023, Amare | Coming Together – Frederic Rzewski
- 15 December 2023, Amare
- 9 February 2024, Amare