"Beautiful ending too, with fading female voices and dull drum in an electronic soundscape by Jorrit Tamminga."De Volkskrant, 18-2-2021
Revelations is the third collaboration between Wim Henderickx and HERMESensemble to be captured on CD. The composer and the musicians of the Antwerp-based collective for contemporary music have been engaged in a prolonged voyage of musical exploration ever since 2006. Improvisation and experimentation, with Henderickx himself regularly standing in on percussion, have inspired and formed the basis of various new compositions.
Revelations was created in 2017 as the music for a multimedia musical theatre piece directed by Wouter Van Looy and the dramaturgist Veerle Fraeters and produced by Muziektheater Transparant. Wim Henderickx is the house composer of Transparant and in 2011-2012 produced Medea with them in association with HERMESensemble. Revelations takes as its starting point the penetrating visions and revelations of the 13th mystic and poet Hadewych of Antwerp. Her visions were not prophecies but constituted an impressive account of a process of personal development towards understanding, love and oneness with God. Her exceptionally sensual descriptions of inner states and processes often bordered on the erotic. The writings of Rumi, mystic and poet dating from the same period, display an astonishing number of similarities to Hadewych’s work. Nowadays the poetic work of this Persian sufi is among the most widely read in all Islam. Revelations is by no means an illustrative depiction but rather translates the visions of Hadewych and Rumi to modern utopias. What do those inner voices and images of a woman alone on the stage say to us now? And in service of what utopia?
The basic elements of the musical theatre work are made up of a Missa Brevis solo soprano, five part women’s choir, instrumental trio and electronics. The mass is the result of a search for a harmonic merging of acoustic sounds with a carpet of electronic sounds developed with Jorrit Tamminga. Henderickx retains only the titles and core notion of the Catholic ordinary – Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus (no Benedictus), the Agnus Dei and an added Halleluja – and in his score significantly places them between quotation marks. In addition to the passages from the mass, quotations from Hadewych furnished the inspiration for each part of Revelations and it is these phrases that also hold the keys to a better appreciation of the work.
Over the past twenty years the Antwerp based HERMESensemble has been exploring and crossing the limits of contemporary music. From the ensemble studio in Het Kanaal (Antwerp) produc- tions are prepared for the most important national and international venues and festivals for contemporary art. Apart from creating contemporary repertoire and new music, the ensemble often works with video and multimedia, and prefers researching adventurous encounters with popular music, jazz and early music.
Musician, teacher and researcher Karin de Fleyt plays the flute, alto flute, piccolo, bass flute, shakuhachi and bansuri. She performs the complete oeuvre for flute by Karlheinz Stockhausen, with whom she has worked for ten years. Many works created by Karin were shaped after intense cooperation with the composer. She gives masterclasses, lectures and lecture-recitals on the inter- pretation of new music for flute at variousnational and international conservatories and festivals for new music.
Viola player Marc Tooten has been the leader of several prestigious orchestras and chamber formations, including I Fiamminghi and the Beethoven Academy. At the moment he is soloist-in-chief with the Brabants orkest in Eindhoven (NL) and an internationally acclaimed chamber musician and soloist. He also teaches at the Maastricht Academy of Music and the Lemmens Institute Leuven.Karin and Marc have been core members of the HERMESensemble from the start in 2000.
Wim Henderickx works as a composer, conductor, percussionist and professor of composition. His compositions are often inspired by other cultures. The Tantric Cycle is a seven-part composition series based on Oriental philosophy and Buddhism. Electronics are often an important feature in his oeuvre.
Wim Henderickx has been Composer-In- Residence at Muziektheater Transparant since 1996. He joined the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra as an Artist-In-Residence in 2013.
He is a professor of composition at the conservatories of Amsterdam and Antwerp and is also the main coach of the annual SoundMine composition course for young composers at Musica.
His scores are published by Norsk Musikforlag A/S in Oslo. Henderickx was awarded both nationally and internationally for his work and in 2015 he was appointed member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and Arts. He was also nominated for the ‘Composer of the Year’ prize in 2017 by the Norwegian Music Publisher’s Society.
He is currently working on an opera for Opera Ballet Vlaanderen and Muziektheater Transparant, a clarinet concerto for Annelien Van Wauwe commissioned by the BBC and Borletti- Buitoni Trust and a new major work for HERMESensemble.
Beautiful ending too, with fading female voices and dull drum in an electronic soundscape by Jorrit Tamminga.
De Volkskrant, 18-2-2021