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In November 1945, having survived the war, Walter Maas had a spontaneous flash of inspiration which sowed the seeds of the Gaudeamus Foundation. Since then, fundamental to the musical progress of the Netherlands has been Gaudeamus’ unwavering encouragement of national and international composers, sound innovators and interpreters: explore, experiment, be critical, discover and keep going. Attempts that are considered ‘failed’ are just as important as successful ones. The audience has already tasted many fruits of this constant presence of Gaudeamus behind the scenes. And how does musical progress sound in 2020? What was once ‘daring’ no longer surprises us. Are we going backwards? No. With boundless drive and under the care of Gaudeamus, composers will continue to emerge to bring the unheard-of to unpredictable life. In this five-part anniversary edition, the 75-year-old offers a glimpse into its turbulent past, the unexpected present and the unknown future.

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‘We are here for tomorrow’s art.’ – Henk Heuvelmans

PART 2

A FRAGMENTARY JOURNEY THROUGH GAUDEAMUS HISTORY BY HENK HEUVELMANS 75 Years Gaudeamus


2 – PART 2

a fragmentary journey through Gaudeamus history by Henk Heuvelmans

Walter Maas


History can be made at any moment. On a Sunday afternoon. In a glowing recommendation. After dozens of phone calls. By listening. In the decision never to give up. Premieres sound. Batons are passed on. In full confidence. Time goes by. Pioneers cultivate new resources.

75 Years Gaudeamus


1962

International garden shed

Hunting for talent

From the 1960s onwards, thanks to

In 1962 the International Gaudeamus

composers and publishers worldwide,

Interpreters Competition is launched, where

Gaudeamus amasses a wide variety of study

young musicians can interpret modern music.

material. Scores, books, magazines and sound

They are free to choose their instrument and

recordings from all over the world find their

the contemporary music to be performed.

way to the increasingly distinctive music

This is the place where new talent is

foundation in Bilthoven. There, in a shed in

discovered, which is able to perform later

the garden, the music library cabinets fill

during the Gaudeamus Muziekweek and

up more every year. The collection is unique

during tours at home and abroad. Up until

in the world. International music students

its final edition in 2011, the competition is the

and young professionals consider the library

only one in the world with this unique design.

a rich source of inspiration for their studies

Winning an award is a great stepping stone to

and development. In the adjacent building,

an international career, as is the composers’

the CEM studio has now been set up, one

competition during Gaudeamus Muziekweek.

of the first electronic music studios in the Netherlands (see part 4).

10 – PART 2

a fragmentary journey through Gaudeamus history by Henk Heuvelmans


2

Just play this ... Organisations, meanwhile, are becoming

The discovery of the bass clarinet

wary of concerts programmed by Gaudeamus

In 1972 the Dutchman Harry Sparnaay wins

“for music of these times.” Concert halls are

the International Gaudeamus Interpreters

usually quick to move their expensive pianos

Competition. He plays bass clarinet, an

to the basement, replacing them with their

instrument for which hardly any relevant

worst specimens.

pieces of music exist. Thanks to the performances of this virtuoso prize winner,

During one of the annual interpreters’

composers start to show growing interest

competitions, Gaudeamus has no choice

in writing new music for Sparnaay and his

but to drive headlong through the night to

instrument. Luciano Berio, Morton Feldman,

Germany in order to find some adequate

Ton de Leeuw, Iannis Xenakis - one by one

percussion equipment there. Just in time for

they are won over.

the final of the competition, professionalquality equipment is set up on the podium.

75 Years Gaudeamus


rare sounds

26 – PART 2

a fragmentary journey through Gaudeamus gives demonstration with Artaudophone Gaudeamus history by Henk Heuvelmans


Gaudeamus has a long history in the presentation of sound installations. In 1966, for example, the organisation uses an ‘emotion meter’ to try out the Artaudophone, a huge electro-acoustic percussion instrument developed by Peter Schat. Various inventors and builders of new instruments can rely on Gaudeamus’ encouragement. The dedicated commitment to the development of electronic music is also part of this tradition (read more about this in part 4 of this anniversary edition). The museological form that much ‘sound art’ also takes has been a permanent fixture during the Gaudeamus Muziekweek since the 1990s. Constructions are then presented that usually produce sound independently and have a strong visual element. In 2010 an entire festival was devoted to this form of sound art: Sounds on the IJ. from left to right Panauditum by Zeno van den Broek, 2008; Les souliers by Arno Fabre, 2010; De Krachtgever (Power Giver) by Peter Bosch and Simone Simons, 2006; Vloei / Flow by Bram Vreven, 2007 in the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ; The construction of De Klankkaatser by Hans van Koolwijk in the Atrium of the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, 2010; Dropper by Arno Fabre, 2008

75 Years Gaudeamus


‘Does music have to be heard to be music?’ – Aart Strootman

PART 3

AN INTUITIVE EXPERIMENT BY VISUAL ARTIST SOÑA LEE & COMPOSER AART STROOTMAN

2 – PART 3

75 Years Gaudeamus an intuitive experiment by visual artist Soña Lee & composer Aart Strootman


An intuitive experiment. How so? A remarkable piece of music from love of the night. Two artists from different corners of the world, another compass point. In what way will they understand each other? How can the intangible desire to create in collectivity find its own form? These are the ideal ingredients for an entirely intuitive experiment. Gaudeamus boldlyoffers the space for it, without knowing the end result. At the moment of the performance the outcome will reveal itself.

75 Years Gaudeamus


75 Years Gaudeamus


meet Soña and Aart Soña Lee is an illustrator/artist. From her very

Aart Strootman is a guitarist/composer/

vivid imagination she often draws brightly

music pioneer. Born in 1987 in Oud Beijerland,

coloured dreams starring miscellaneous

The Netherlands, Aart has travelled all over

creatures. Born in 1989 in Seoul, South-Korea,

the world and is now living in Rotterdam.

she decided to move to Rotterdam,

In 2017 Aart won the Gaudeamus Award.

The Netherlands in 2015. Until a few days

That same year, during the Gaudeamus

ago she was unfamiliar with Aart’s work.

Muziekweek, Nyctophilia received its

Now she has been invited to create an art-

premiere. For the creation of this piece,

work in response to one of his compositions.

Aart played with strings, percussion, bass-guitar and recorder. The work was performed by the ensembles s t a r g a z e, TEMKO and trio aXolot.

Aart (A) and Soña (S) have never met before. Nyctophilia brings them together, a choice that was made for them by Q. Q will guide them through an intuitive experiment, with their agreement. The two live only a mile apart, on opposite sides of the Nieuwe Maas in Rotterdam. However, since covid19 ‘rules’, they will have a video conversation. Aart signs on from a somewhat dark looking music cellar. Soña answers from her small, sunlit workspace. They receive a brief explanation before they are gently pushed into the deep end.

6 – PART 3

an intuitive experiment by visual artist Soña Lee & composer Aart Strootman


‘I do enjoy it to sit down behind the score of somebody else and try to crack the code.’


Soña takes over smoothly. S: I agree with you that creating is hard to grasp as a process and needs genuine openness. If I try to visualise a story too hard, then somehow it runs away from me. It’s delicate. I just always have to wait for the moment that it comes to me naturally. I’m still figuring out if there is some kind of trick, a way to let the inspiration come to me at any time I want. But I haven’t found it yet. So I feel like it’s just magic, this moment when all of a sudden I can clearly visualise a feeling to make an illustration. I once heard an interview with the actor Joaquin Phoenix. He got questions like: what was your intention? What did you want to show? What made you act this way? He answered: I don’t know. I don’t know. I just was in the moment and I did it. His reaction interested me, so I kept following his interviews. He always gives the same answers: I don’t know. I can’t explain. It was just the feeling. I like his answers very much. To me they explain a lot. You just make the best out of it within the moment. After this striking reflection by Soña, the words disappear from the scene. About 100 minutes have passed. Much has been said. There is still much more to discover. The two characters raise their hands to say goodbye. Soña has been invited to create an art-work in response to Nyctophylia. The result is visible now (see p.15-16).

75 Years Gaudeamus


Soña takes over smoothly. S: I agree with you that creating is hard to grasp as a process and needs genuine openness. If I try to visualise a story too hard, then somehow it runs away from me. It’s delicate. I just always have to wait for the moment that it comes to me naturally. I’m still figuring out if there is some kind of trick, a way to let the inspiration come to me at any time I want. But I haven’t found it yet. So I feel like it’s just magic, this moment when all of a sudden I can clearly visualise a feeling to make an illustration. I once heard an interview with the actor Joaquin Phoenix. He got questions like: what was your intention? What did you want to show? What made you act this way? He answered: I don’t know. I don’t know. I just was in the moment and I did it. His reaction interested me, so I kept following his interviews. He always gives the same answers: I don’t know. I can’t explain. It was just the feeling. I like his answers very much. To me they explain a lot. You just make the best out of it within the moment. After this striking reflection by Soña, the words disappear from the scene. About 100 minutes have passed. Much has been said. There is still much more to discover. The two characters raise their hands to say goodbye. Soña has been invited to create an art-work in response to Nyctophylia. The result is visible now (see p.15-16).

2 – PART 3

75 Years Gaudeamus an intuitive experiment by visual artist Soña Lee & composer Aart Strootman

Profile for Gaudeamus

Preview Gaudeamus Book Anniversary Edition  

In November 1945, having survived the war, Walter Maas had a spontaneous flash of inspiration which sowed the seeds of the Gaudeamus Foundat...

Preview Gaudeamus Book Anniversary Edition  

In November 1945, having survived the war, Walter Maas had a spontaneous flash of inspiration which sowed the seeds of the Gaudeamus Foundat...

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