The Amsterdam Collage Ensemble is a newly born ensemble focused on contemporary music. I am currently working on a piece written for them. It’s proving to be quite a tricky task, working with the unusual instrumentation of three recorder players, a clarinet/bass clarinet and two percussionists.
My working process involved the research of traditional songs from Greece. I was trying to understand why the sound of these particular songs I have chosen appears to imitate an exaggerated recitation of the Greek language. The complex rhythm is difficult to grasp, and the melodic patterns and formulas seem to be a nightmarish puzzle.
However, this did not work at all. I had to throw away work of 2 months. I rewrote the whole piece from scratch, writing a new one under the title putridity and the vortex of shallow reciprocations. I decided to include text as well; fragments from D. Dimitriadis’ book I die as a country – this is where the title derives from. Because of the text that the musicians have to recite, the preparation process is now closer to that of a music-theater piece.
The rehearsal periode was a very creative process. The ensemble has made a brave step towards this new direction with its performers being very much capable of supporting the piece. The premiere took place on the 7th of February 2013 in Utrecht, as part of the Gaudeamus Music Week.