Among the most anticipated appointments of this Biennale Musica we find The Book of Water, a commission that the Biennale has entrusted to the Dutch composer Michel van der Aa and which will be staged on 19 September at the Goldoni Theater. A work focused on the phenomenon of water erosion of territories around the world, which finds in Venice a natural habitat for its staging. Let’s discover the composer and his poetics.
Combining images, sound sampling, prose, traditional instruments, and electronic music
I often write these multiple layers at the same time – musical score, stage directions, and also the visual context of the performance. By doing this, I can determine which of these layers is prominent and is most important.
The ideal listener.
It must be a very open-minded audience. My usual audience is not necessarily a hardcore new music audience, but also an audience that goes to see theatre or art films, which makes for a really interesting blend.
Differences between a composer, a librettist, and a director.
They all deal with time, so when I compile a text or write a text, it must form this arc in time, and the same is true about the music and film as well.
The ideal interpreter.
When I write a solo concerto, I often write for performers themselves and not as much with the instrument in mind. Take, for example, my Violin Concerto for Janine Jansen. I was very inspired with her as a performer and if she happened to play a recorder, I would have written a recorder concerto. I think that’s the most inspiring thing for me: I need a muse to write for solo instruments. My string quartet piece The Book of Water, has performers not only play the music but also form an integral part of its staging.