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Dance of the Dream Men

for percussion quartet

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Estimated Duration
16 - 20min

ISMN : 979-0-2325-6143-1

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Notes on this piece

Written for Slagwerk Den Haag and Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2018.

Program note:

“There was a time when dance, music and poetry hadn't even thought of depicting a particular object. What first developed these artistic talents in man was indisputably the impulse to proclaim his existence; an impulse that, though always present in a healthy state, manifests itself only in such moments when it is not inhibited by the pressure of external conditions. Hence the striving to sensualize the existing forces on any given object, and the self-sufficient pleasure residing in the activity itself, whatever effect it may have. What is closest to man is his body and the air he breathes in and out. The drive for autonomous activity has found its first sphere of activity in both of them. In the free floating of the body, without being limited by the pressure of gravity, the mind also feels as if it were free of its bonds. The earthly mass, which always reminded him of his dependence on the outside world, seems to be ennobling itself and the limits of his existence are expanding.”

(Christian Gottfried Körner, On the Representation of Character in Music)

“The night is all breathing. A low wind has risen as if from the grass. The crickets never stop, on all sides. If you isolate one sound from another, it seems to burst forth suddenly, very distinct; but it was also there before, hidden among the other sounds.” (Italo Calvino, A King Listens)

“Let’s rock!”
(Weird midget man, Twin Peaks)

“The sweat in which the dancer is bathed day after day plays an essential role in many ritual or meditative exercises of the peoples. Man sweats when he gets beside himself (see the sexual meaning of sweating), and when a change takes place: something old dies and something new is born. Anxiety sweat also has this aspect of change, because in fear, the previous being is called into question and thus a new form of adaptation is made possible. The glow and lightness of the dancer on stage are marked by the 'resurrectio', which presupposes a 'crucifixio'."

(Gerhard Zacharias, Ballett. Gestalt und Wesen)

“You are wise to listen, not to let your attention lapse even for an instant; but you must be convinced of this: it is yourself you hear, it is within you that the ghosts acquire voices. Something you are incapable of saying even to yourself is trying painfully to make itself heard...”

“Through self-awareness we are conscious that the movement of the sound of our voice is determined by our own activity. This movement belongs to what we consider as independent of the outside world, distinguishing it from what is contingent in us; it belongs to the manifestations of our freedom. Therefore, we sense freedom and personality in every movement of a certain sound. For our ears, this sound is the sensual form of a free living being, just as it is the movable form for our eyes.”

(Körner, op. cit.)

“I feel like I know her but sometimes my arms bend back.“ (Mysterious blonde dream girl, Twin Peaks)

“Buried deep within yourself perhaps your true voice exists, the song that cannot break free of your clenched throat, from your lips parched and taut. Or else your voice wanders, scattered, through the city, timbres and tones disseminated in the buzzing. The man you are or have been or could be, the you that no one knows, would be revealed in that voice.”

“Where we are from the birds sing a pretty song and there’s always music in the air.” 

Percussions (4)
The recording is a live-recording of Slagwerk Den Haag performing Part I.
at the world premiere at Gaudeamus Muziekweek on September 7. 2018 at Theaterzaal of Het Huis Utrecht (NL).
Score Details
Format - A4 / US Letter
Pages - 50