Oranjewoud photo-LucasKemper_The Oranjewoud festival – a small festival, based in the North of the Netherlands, under the artistic leadership of Yoram Ish-Hurwitz – is currently preparing an edition that will focus on the impact of the digital era on the arts  – and especially: classical music. The festival says: “Since the first edition in 2012, we have been committed to making the Oranjewoud Festival an event that reduces the gap between fine classical music and the general public without making any concessions to the content of this music. We’re doing this by combining high quality with broad accessibility, form with content, and presentation with a very special experience. We cherish and defend valuable traditions while also replacing ingrained habits with new ideas.”

Sampling Baroque: Exposing Bach by Burak Özdemir

One of the most interesting productions is Sampling Baroque: Exposing Bach by Burak Özdemir and his group Music Sequenza.  The production combines the tradition of the historical informed music practice “with the practically unlimited possibilities of electronics. Daring digital sounds clash or merge with Bach’s love songs so that every aria floats in its own world of sound”. Exposing Bach has been developed together with the  New-York based Swedish Dj and producer Van Rivers.

Here is a clip from an earlier production of Sampling Baroque about Händel. I recommend to start listening at 11:00.

Lunar by TEMKO

My second favourite is Lunar by TEMKO under the artistic leadership of composer/ guitar player and Gaudeamus prizewinner Aart Strootma . In this production the trio will play as few notes as “humanly possible” avoiding synchronization. They are supported by specially designed noise machines. “Being in sync without ever being in sync resulting in a kind of pseudo-spiritual sonic universe, until it all segways into new orbits.”

The production can be heard in two settings: In almost darkness or floating in a swimming pool with a special helmet on while the trio is playing at the side of the pool.


The festival’s Chronicle of a digital era is part of the main program of the 2018 ‘European Capital of Culture’ cultural program of Leeuwarden.

Interested? More information can be found on the festivals website.


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