40 Ways of Being (a Woman)

So much sound! After our première in Gaudeamus last month, Andrea Guterres (composer), Viola Blache (soprano), Lisi Humann (organ) and I are putting together a version for Hyper Organ at Orgelpark. The piece is an exploration of the human voice and our instruments, and also the richness of (our) gender. Performance on Saturday 15 October at 20:15.

photo’s by Pieter Kers


Composing for Amateurs Award

My piece ‘ǀKaggen’ (2021) for open score ensemble was awarded the first prize of CoMA Maastricht’s composition competition in Festival Nieuwe Noten! I also got to hear a great performance of my piece by an ensemble of 18 dedicated and fun amateur players. You can listen to it here.

ǀKaggen is a piece about ease and lightness, and also about mischief. It is named after a folk hero and creator god from the cosmology of the ǀXam people of Southern Africa. He is a trickster god who can shape-shift, usually taking the form of a praying mantis. The piece is not a programmatic representation of this folkloristic deity. Rather, it is inspired by what the character represents (for me): the feeling of humour and lightness that sometimes arises when we embrace the unknown, the way this ease and freedom creates space for mischief and playfulness, and an appreciation for the beauty of ordinary things. It is a piece about the fun of playing together, and the beauty of imperfection.


Moon Suite / “40 Ways of Being (a Woman)”

At the intersection of spring and (hopefully) post-covid renaissance, I am delighted to be playing for live audience again, in the oldest church of Amsterdam.

Playing in de Oude Kerk is almost like having a conversation with the space around me, blending with my own sound reflected off the oldest walls in town. A gorgeous acoustic is a true pleasure, and this one brings out the fragility and expressiveness of solo cello and the colours of my Moon Suite in such a way that I’m led to believe that this combination was meant to be.

The Moon Suite (solo cello, 2015) is a special piece for me: the first large work I wrote after graduating, my “coming-of-age” piece as a composer, a piece that linked two of my worlds (as a performer and creator of music). The piece is about many things, but especially about different aspects of being a woman and my experience of it. This is a theme that continues to intrigue and inspire me, and which will also form the core of “40 Ways of Being (a Woman)”.

As the name suggests, the Moon Suite is based on different moon phases – a narrative as cyclical as the reality of everyday feminine existence. In this time when the world is waking up again from a long hibernation, I am delighted to be bringing parts of it to life.

Concert on Friday 4 March 2022 8am, at de Oude Kerk, Amsterdam.

Over the summer, I wrote a playful and slightly mischievous piece for amateur Open Score ensemble. That means it’s playable by any instruments, to be determined by what happens to be available. It was a fun challenge.

I am delighted that my creation (which goes by the name of IKaggen) got selected for the final of CoMA’s composition competition (that’s “Contemporary Music for All”), and will be performed in Maastricht in March!

Read more here.

Ugly Pug / Crossroads – CD out now!

CD Digipak edition of Ugly Pug’s debut album #Crossroads (Olive Music/Etcetera Records) is now available to order here! I am delighted with this amazing recording of my work (Crossroads)by these gentlemen.

The extensive booklet includes, next to program notes and introductions of every composer, the ensemble and the musicians, beautiful and comprehensive liner notes by Sara Constant.

You can purchase or listen to it online or get a physical copy here.

Collaboration with Amaranti Ensemble

Amaranti Ensemble is a traverso (Baroque flute) & harpsichord duo based in the States. In the winter they got in touch, and asked me to write them a piece for their project “From Scapegoat to Feminist Icon – Reflections on Guinevere”. I am always delighted to meet musicians who actively promote female composers, and excited for our collaboration!

At first I was unfamiliar with the story of Guinevere (aka “King Arthur’s wife”) but soon learned that her character (in various retellings of the story over the course of a millenium) is a reflection of ideas about women. My Guinevere is a woman with strength and sex-appeal, but still unmistakably woman. I like how my work so often ends up being about what this means to me.

Read more about the project here.