‘Twenty-first century music!’ That’s what Dag in de Branding Festival will focus on in the next two years, says pianist Saskia Lankhoorn. She is the new curator of this Hague-based festival for new music and as such can make waves on the programming. Saturday 14 October is the upcoming edition and already bears her imprint.
The multifaceted and idiosyncratic pianist Saskia Lankhoorn (1979) plays an active role in the contemporary music scene for both solo and chamber music. She has performed with ensembles like Asko|Schönberg, ELECTRA and Slagwerk Den Haag and as a co-founder of Klang is closely affiliated with the ensemble. Saskia also has a piano duo, X88, with the Canadian pianist Vicky Chow, who is known for her association with the Bang on a Can All Stars. Saskia Lankhoorn graduated from the Royal Conservatoire and has strong ties with The Hague.
The first edition of the 2017-2018 Dag in de Branding Festival on Saturday 14 October is an ode to the pianist. Although Saskia Lankhoorn will also be performing, she particularly wants to feature fellow pianists, such as Michael Hersch and the renowned Michael Riesman, who is Philip Glass’s right-hand man. He is the musical director of the Philip Glass Ensemble and has conducted all of Glass’s film scores.
Lankhoorn believes that music by Glass reflects a significant and currently prevailing trend: looking for length and spatiality in music. ‘Minimalism in a new form is back’, she says. ‘Just look at all the minimal music festivals. Audiences long for a kind of prolongation, for longer pieces involving the perception of time and the experience of time. It is a hankering after a different world – much in the same way as a smartphone giving immediate access to all kinds of worlds. The universe evoked by minimal music means you can look at musical patterns through a magnifying glass, you can experience established musical effects as though new and you can see the fascinating way they are constructed. The approach is almost scientific, but the goal is a different experience of time.’
The Dag in de Branding Festival will take place this season on Saturday 14 October 2017, Saturday 2 December 2017, Saturday 10 March 2018 and Saturday 26 May 2018. The March edition will be Lankhoorn’s first own brainchild. In the ensuing two seasons of the Dag in de Branding Festival, she wishes to showcase new developments in twenty-first century music. Key words will be: length and spatiality in music, interdisciplinary aspects, contrast, flexibility (of musicians and audiences alike) and intimacy.