Some previously published, some originally written for this site.
Texts that I wrote for myself, for musicians and for listeners
A short critical introduction to ideas that underlie Pierre Boulez’ post-serial methods. read more / comment
But that is no real music! Right. I think the developments in sonic arts are showing what the boundaries of real music might be. This text, which will soon appear here in translation, deals with the radio play fiction in sonic art, the transcendence of pitch and music’s diffuse intentionality. It is an adapted version…. read more / comment
The debate between Ancient Moderns and Postmoderns turns up now and then in Holland, even in the usually excessively moderate discussion section of the Dutch Journal for Music Theory. There, Dutch composer John Borstlap clearly fell out of line with most of his more influential colleagues when he argued that new music often is a heartless abnormality… John is one of the few classicists by conviction in the Dutch musical landscape. He wrote the book about it, straight away in English. In the ‘progressive’ Netherlands, his ideas meet with an (almost literal) deadly silence. Do listen to his works. read more / comment
No book may have been more influential on Dutch thought about modern music than Dutch composer Ton de Leeuw’s book Music of the Twentieth Century - A Study of Its Elements and Structure. It has been translated in German, and recently also in English by Amsterdam University Press - almost thirty years after it’s last Dutch edition. Someone must have been quite sure that it still has a wider relevance to understanding our previous century. And the book is indeed remarkable…. read more / comment
Isn’t classicism dead and buried? Or still practised but under new pretexts? Pressing issues - I think. And a good reason for me to very diligently read Robert Adlington’s book about Louis Andriessen: De Staat, and review it for The Dutch Journal of Music Theory, 10 no. 3. read more / comment