DE ZUCHTEN VAN RAMEAU / LES SOUPIRS DE RAMEAU for harpsichord,tape & slide projections

This multi media work was commissioned in 1995 by the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst and dedicated to Annelie de Man. Visual artist Kristien Kerstens made the images,to be projected on the lid of the instrument.The composition was inspired by ëLes Soupirsí from the Suite no.2, Pièces de Clavecin, 1724 by Jean Philippe Rameau.There are traces of that piece in ëDe Zuchtení, like the D major key and the upbeat F#-G-A which is a Leitmotif. The French word ì le soupirî means: sigh, but also a quarternote rest.
The harpsichord itself is subject of the composition.In 1987, Annelie de Man had her instrument re-designed by Sies Bleeker, who removed all original baroque characteristics. In ìDe Zuchten van Rameauî goes in the oppositie direction: In search of the nature of the harpsichord Kerstens and Ter Veldhuis rediscovered baroque elements like symmetry, ornamentation, fugato structures, arpeggioís, a basso continuo and a passacaglia. It is a composition about, on, in, around, under, above and before the harpsichord, that was sampled in every possible way, by microphone and camera.
It is quite obvious that the harpsichord is from a different era: Rather small in sound and size, the instrument is, in spite of its baroque swiftness,also rather cool and austere, with its stiff mechanism and its ëinvisibleí (hidden) hands.The historical distance of nearly 3 ages causes a lot of drama: The music is rather centrifugal, and transforms the small sound of the harpsichord into a giant machine that threatens to explode, whereas the images are much more centripetal, still and intimate, focalizing.
There are 2 quotations in the score, which represent the first and the second movement:
Louis XIV: ìLes routes de nuit sont si peu sûresî. (The nocturnal roads are unsafe.)
Guillaume Apollinaire: ìEt des mains vers le ciel plain de lacs de lumière síenvolaient quelquefois comme des oiseaux blancs.î ( And hands to the sky full of lakes of light sometimes fly away like white birds.)(from: Líémigrant de Landor Road.) The tape features a special guest :It is the scops owl,(otus scops), the same bird on which Ter Veldhuis based his Toccata.
ëDe Zuchten van Rameauí was recorded on
CD in 1996.

THE STORM for harpsichord $ tape
Written November 1995 for Thora Johansen and Annelie de Man. The music was composed fromleftover sketches for ìLes Soupirs de Rameauî and recordings that I made during a two-month- stay in the house of Robert Pollock on Long Beach Island on the eastcoast of the USA, in the winter of 1993.
There we survived the ìStorm of the Century ì. Very strong winds, heavy snowfalls and floodings causing many evacuations. Manhattan was completely snowed in.... American friends were concerned about us and called to ask how we were doing in the storm.
Some of their messages were recorded on Robertsí old answering machine.I particulary liked that machine because of the wonderful rhythms and sounds it produced when in action. Also I recorded reports from tv-stations.
The music is the result of free association inspired by the melodic and rhythmical patterns of voices, telephone and answering machines.
Voices: Marilyn Monroe, Billy Graham, our friends Hak Vogrin, Bob Koenig and Tom Laughlin, a couple of weathermen and -women, Misses Jones and others.
The Storm was recorded on
CD in 1996.
Duration: 6í45íí

- libretto

Cloudy with showers likely, some areas of fog. Low temperatures in the mid to upper forties. North winds, ten to fifteen miles per hour. A thirty percent chance of showers mainly in the morning .High temperatures in the mid fiftyís to near sixtyís.The extended outlook from Wednesday through Friday:

Hereís a current scenario 3x
Hereís a current scenario with a radar
Itís gonna be allright 4x
Rain coming down
Itís gonna be allright
Still plenty of fog
Itís gonna be allright
It is not certain
Rain coming down / Still plenty of fog 2x
It is not certain
This storm is very very strong / Itís gonna be allright 3x
But there is a chance 8x
Now there is the chance 3x
Itís gonna be allright / Cool down 3x
Now there is the chance 2x
That will cause the death / Itís gonna be allright 2x
Itís gonna be allright
How you people are doing over there
How you people are doing over there with the storm ?
How youíre doing in the storm over there ? 3x
The kids stayed and slept in the car 4x
The kids stayed and slept in the car and we went to the motel
With the storm 3x
To pray for you / with the storm/ Amen! /with the storm 2x
To pray for you / And we care for ye 5x
And we care for ye / We have shelter for you / And we care for ye / Amen! 2x
And we care for ye
And we care for ye and we just want you to know that weíre here , for your need.
How youíre doing in the storm over there ? 2x
Give us a call if we can be at help if you have any problem
Quick, talk to me!
Rain coming down / Still plenty of fog 3x
This storm is very very strong, it will continue to slide to the east!
Quick, talk to me! / Tell us what God has done for you 11x
Gossip gossip gossip
Hereís a current scenario 2x
Cool down
Hereís a current scenario / Cool down
Hereís a current scenario with a radar
That will cause the death of this entire country
Itís gonna be allright!

It is actually brightening up slightly !