The percussion trio XTRO from The Hague fits seamlessly with the theme ‘a new look at familiar musical aspects’ of this edition. The trio uses all kinds of objects such as bottles, glasses and flower pots, to make music. We asked them about finding the right objects with the desired sounds, the challenges of performing music online and what we can expect from this trio on June 9th.
The theme of this festival is: offering a new experience. Is this also the starting point for your work and does it influence your choice of instruments?
As a group of performers our main purpose is always to surprise people. We achieve this by keeping our shows new and innovating. For this specific performance, we focused strongly on the search for new compositions, and we will premiere two completely new pieces: “9Election” and “Objects and Portrait Projections”.
For your music you use everyday objects as instruments. How do you find the right objects with the right sounds?
Finding the right objects is always an interesting journey for us. This process starts with organizing and thinking: Which sounds do WE want to hear? The second step to this is going to a large number of shops searching for those sounds: we don’t exclude any shop, because we know that in every store there is something useful for us. The final step is to make certain adjustments to the objects we selected: whether by gluing them together or drilling holes for better resonance, adapting our objects is always rewarding.
What effect has Corona had on XTRO? Has it unleashed a new kind of creativity?
The quarantine period was a challenge for us in the beginning. It took us a while to adapt, but we know that it made us think differently and outside of the box. We had the great occasion to collaborate with Gaudeamus for an online project called “Zoom meeting”. This performance was recorded entirely in our own homes, more than 1000kms apart from each other. This pandemic has permitted us to increase our video making/recording/editing skills, which right now are very useful. Different times require different forms of creativity, and I feel we delivered this.
On June 9th we will see and hear you online instead of live in the PAARD on June 5th. What is that like for you as artists?
Like every other artist, the ideal performance for our show “FLOW” would be live. However, due to the world’s delicate situation, we have learned to adapt our shows to make them as engaging online as they would be live. Through multiple and diverse artistic inputs, we have made a show in which connecting with the audience is easier, even through a screen.