Trevor Grahl


De keuze van Trevor Grahl

Eclectische keuze

Onlangs verscheen het cd-album ‘Of Ancient Days’ van de Canadees/Amsterdamse componist Trevor Grahl. Tussen de delen van Bachs partita ‘Sei Gegrüsset, Jesu Gütig’ strooit hij eigen werken die hij zelf uitvoert op het computergestuurde hyper-organ van het Orgelpark. In speelse stukken sleurt hij je met onbevangen gretigheid een bonte fantasiewereld binnen. Een prikkelend contrast met Bachs barokke koraalpartita. Wij vroegen Trevor Grahl door welke muziek hij zich laat inspireren. Als antwoord stuurde hij een royaal gevulde playlist met een selectie favoriete stukken.

Trevor Grahl – Of Ancient Days

De playlist van Trevor Grahl

Jasna Veličković – Opera of Things

Jasna’s music is a celebration of the joys of found acoustic treasures. Searching in places where one would hardly imagine sounds exist, she uses orphaned technologies, abandoned or seemingly forgotten, to conjure and unearth her sonic gems, arranging them into beautifully and breathtakingly compositions that intrigue, touch, and fascinate. Her groundbreaking work with magnetic induction coils inspire deep creativity in my thoughts: unique sounds are hidden everywhere, the hunt to uncover them is a joyful life task.

Wilbert Bulsink – SPELINGEN

Wilbert and Miriam’s wonderful collaborative project has resulted in something that is a truly unique take on harp technique, bringing it to life in a way that I had previously never imagined. The harp squeaks, stutters and shrieks in a chorus of sponged strings, and overtones so high the palpable inharmonicity-energy is transmuted into electric breath by the orchestra! The pleasure of witnessing Miriam’s enthusiastic joyful spirit while performing these glorious and shocking sounds was truly a highlight. Wilbert’s sparse yet powerful orchestral technique created a brilliant ecosystem for a wonderful piece.

Yedo Gibson – ONATOPP

Not your average piece for accordion solo. Yedo’s brilliant and simple score takes the form of a video, which Nora watches with utter determination and focus, using her legs as an acoustic force to be reckoned with, just like Bond’s formidable rival in Goldeneye. Yedo and Nora’s collaboration bring us music as charged and energetic as a Bond villain. Recommended live!

Trevor Grahl – Of Ancient Days

My own world – inspired partly by Bach, partly by the Genesis creation narrative, and of course, brought to life by the Orgelpark’s wonderful new ‘hyperorgan’. Written in seven day-movements and a Bach partita as the night-movements, my piece is a narrative on the act of creation, a slow building of a world. The remarkable thing about this work is that both pieces use the same instrument, just in slightly different ways, resulting in a hugely different sound worlds. As in Jasna’s work, I was inspired to use the organ dig deeply into the sound of 17th century pipes, emerging with new sound-treasures that perhaps had been there all along, waiting…

Les Filles de Illighadad – Tende (live @TivoliVredenburg)

Although not based in NL, this group is no stranger to the Netherlands, having performed in several festivals around the country since. This was one of the most memorable performances of my life. The music, so simply complex and eloquent, brought to life by these fantastic women, makes me reflect and think on what we do as makers and composers. Everyone in the hall was touched, completely silent during refrain after refrain.

Thanasis Deligiannis – Prayers of Incompetence

Thanasis evening-length work for singers, automated organ and field recordings is billed as a “meditation on making love with the impossible”. And what possibilities were we privy to that evening, the last day before live music making in the Netherlands went to sleep for a while. Witnessing it is like hearing a piece of music shamelessly confess its own desires to an audience, something as unusual and brilliantly ‘possibly impossible’ as the title suggests. Searching for possibilities in seemingly impossible terrain is Thanasis’ constant, and something he inspired in me, as well.

Sun Mi Hong & Tristan Renfrow

These two can react to each other’s musical thoughts on a dime, and maybe even possess other-worldly ESP powers of musical telepathy. This is a powerhouse set that percolates and explodes, suggesting a giant drum-machine that shouts, whispers, and punches. The controlled frantic rhythms make me think of Becket’s Not I.

Thierry Tidrow - Die Alten, Bösen Lieder

Thierry is currently based in Germany, but we come from the same town in Canada, and became quite close during our studies at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Those years were an explosion of new ideas, thoughts, and experiences. Somehow, through our studies, the community, and concerts, we were able to shed some sort of old skin and try new ideas and embrace things we couldn’t have imagined before. Thierry’s song cycle from 2016 (based on Des Knaben Wunderhorn!) is a joyful romp into his musical spirit and expertly conceived for and realized by Johannes Fischer and Sarah Maria Sun.

Sanem Kalfa & George Dumitriu - Dance

Sanem and George play with a musical synergy that seems to be boundless. Both are musical shapeshifters, effortlessly changing their instruments to lead the public into soundscapes that magically transform before the ears. This single is from their album DANCE with video by Joost Ruigrok.

Eric de Clercq – Crépuscule, Opera for 6 Musicians

I had to include at least one opera here. Eric’s opera has it all, princesses, portraits that come to life, a love story, the sad clown, outrage, drama, all in a compact one minute and thirty seconds. Andriessen used to say “say what you need to say, then shut up”. Eric’s opera says exactly that.

Trevor Grahl – Ephemerides

Ephemerides (Greek: ‘diary’, ‘journal’, ‘daily’, mostly used in celestial navigation as tables of calculations mapping out trajectories of different astronomical objects and satellites in the sky) are compositions loosely inspired by Kepler’s theories and observations set out in Harmonices Mundi (1619), and ‘orbiting’ around John Dowland’s seven Lachrymae Pavans. Each ephemeris presents a trajectory or set of trajectories through which different material unfolds, sometimes in the form of Renaissance-inspired looping canons or stretti, harmonic or rhythmic periods mimicking a system of bodies in orbit, or a slow unwinding of tempo based on increasingly remote orbital velocities. The temperament for the work was also inspired by developments in the Renaissance: quarter-comma meantone passages are sometimes superimposed with material based on 31-tone equal temperament relationships creating the impression of sonorities passing through many different vibrational planes.

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