onhandig bloesemend (2011)
for singer, narrator and string ensemble (
text: Ramsey Nasr

Written for Charlotte Schoeters and Magogo Kamerorkest
First performed on November 5 2011, Charlotte Schoeters, Magogo Kamerorkest, Micha Hamel

Program notes:
Based upon three poems by Ramsey Nasr, from his bundle 'onhandig bloesemend': 'da capo', 'die koppijn' and 'slotkoor'
In order to give the three poems their own space and character and to avoid using the strings just as accompaniment, I seperated the poems with instrumental passages. After a brisk introduction (a sort of proportional 18 voice canon) the mood gets somewhat subdued with the first poem 'da capo'. Blocks of different textures, either rhythmical or diffuse, give a strong contrast and steer the dramatic structure. The passage from the first to the second poem is a dynamic rhythmical block where the strings play in essence one chord, that changes internally by rhythm and dynamics.
The base of the second poem. 'die koppijn' (that headache) is a constant pulse as well, but one that changes in tempo and dynamics, like a surging headache. This poem seems on first encounter less lyrical (possibly because of the striking layout) and thus forms a nice contrast with the other two. The text is not just sung but narrated as well.
The third poem, 'slotkoor', is much more lyrical, maybe even a tad romantic. But then again the subject, death, is a fairly romantic subject.

singer narrator string ensemble (

c. 15 minutes

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