Volti | Appel, Mondrian, Rembrandt

for flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, cello
2014 | duration: 14′

appel 06

Volti | Appel, Mondrian, Rembrandt
Volti, written for Looptail, is an homage to three Dutch painters from different ages, and a collection of sound-portraits. Karel Appel, Piet Mondrian and Rembrandt van Rijn, had diverse ways of working and a personal approach to the action of painting itself. I worked on specific aspects of their styles in terms of techniques and poetics.

Karel Appel (1921/2006)
“I do not paint, I hit”, he said, and often he squirted the pigment on his figures without touching a brush. In his paintings, furious strokes of flagrant colors describe their own space on the canvas: the gesture and the concrete and sensual experience of painting give rise to the form.


Piet Mondrian (1872/1944)
Through his life, Mondrian progressively lost interest for the figures, and focused on the essential relations between eternal and constant elements such as the straight line and the primary colors. Through procedures like the reduction of color to the flat surface, he wanted to represent the essence of reality and its “free rhythm”. In his writings he compares melodies to figures and structure to the vertical harmonic dimension of music.

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606/1669)
Deep shadows are strongly opposed to rich highlights of colors. The time of observation changes the painting and figures that we couldn’t see before, because of the strong light contrast, slowly appear from the deep shadow.


Door eigen ogen
My piece is part of a larger project titled “Door eigen ogen”, that I created with the Japanese composer Noriko Koide especially for Looptail.
“Door eigen ogen” is an homage to six Dutch masters starting from their self-portraits: in a self-portrait an artist looks at himself in a mirror, and at the same time he looks at us. Self-portraits can become for us a door to open, to encounter the work of a painter through his own eyes. Our two pieces will be an imaginary gallery of sound-portraits of these Dutch masters.

Video recording
Het Cenakel, Tilburg – April 22nd, 2014
Looptail | Jellantsje de Vries violin, Klaasje Nieuwhof flute; Jonathan Butler cello
Anna voor de Wind clarinet, Pascal Meyer piano, Rachel Xi Zhang percussion

Commissioned by Looptail
with financial support from the Nederlands Fonds Podiumkunsten

03.04.2014 Looptail, CBK Oost, Amsterdam
17.04.2014 Looptail, Splendor, Amsterdam
22.04.2014 Looptail, De Link, Tilburg
12.09.2014 Looptail, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Utrecht
03.07.2015 Looptail, Time of Music, Viitasaari, Finland
25.03.2016 Looptail, Korzo Theater, Den Haag