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Robert van Heumen Composer Improvisor Laptop-Instrumentalist













Next event on April 8, 2015: Lecture/presentation at Studium Generale HKU, Hilversum NL

February 13, 2015

Shackle at ‘a special evening at the Kunstenlab’

Shackle performed a concert at the Kunstenlab in Deventer, NL. Invited by Harco Rutgers from esc.rec. Shackle played a 50-minute set presenting their Shackle Bits project.

Shackle-JG-1

Martijn Holtslag from VPRO's 3voor12 also liked it (in Dutch, translation following soon):

"Een verrassende en spannende reis, waarbij twee muzikanten in opperste concentratie aan het werk zijn om de gemaakte signalen te verwerken tot een klankreis die even zacht als snoeihard durft te zijn. Alsof dat niet spannend genoeg is om te zien, of te horen, worden er korte, stille fragmenten uit oude jaren 20-50 films weergegeven, die net te vaag zijn om te snappen waar het over gaat, maar visueel een prachtige aanvulling geven aan de sfeer. Hierbij zijn niet de beelden maar is het klankbeeld lijdend.

Niet voor de meezingers, niet voor de cafésfeer, niet voor een gezellig avondje bandjes kijken, maar wel een prachtige reis waarbij je even tijd nodig hebt om te verwerken wat je eigenlijk hebt meegemaakt en waarbij de klanken even experimenteel zijn als de uitvoering. Kortom: een bijzondere avond in het Kunstenlab."


The full review can be found here (in Dutch).

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The beautiful photos were made by Jelmer Gremmen.




February 5, 2015

The second rehearsal for Detuning Guitar

Yesterday Jasper and I had our second rehearsal of our piece Detuning Guitar, after a great concert the previous week. We spend some time on the various sections, made some changes and did one runthrough. Below some excerpts.

Listen here: STUMBLE



Listen here: VIBRA2



Listen here: FLAG3








January 30, 2015

Stadhouders & Van Heumen @ Club100

After one rehearsal for the new piece Detuning Guitar for Jasper and myself, we had an opportunity to play together during a Club100 evening at Zaal100. We were closing a very interesting and eclectic music evening, curated by Akim Moiseenkov, and we were on a roll. Very promising for Detuning Guitar, that should find its premiere somewhere in April, also in Zaal100.




Detuning Guitar

Detuning Guitar is a composition for acoustic guitar and live sampling, performed by Jasper Stadhouders and Robert van Heumen using the Shackle System.

The composition encompasses 13 parts which are descriptions of musical sections that limit the players in concept or material. Within these limitations the players can freely improvise the way they see fit. The parts are presented by the Shackle System as visual cues in a random order and last for a random time between the preset boundaries. When the System announces a new part, there is a 15 second countdown in which the players can prepare for the new part or cancel it using a foot-switch. At any time, each player can request a new part from the System with the same foot-switch. After 25 minutes, the System announces the end.

Some parts prescribe a detuning of one of the guitar strings, and one part prescribes a retuning to the initial tuning. Some parts are accompanied by a brief score. The names of the parts are: PATTERN, STUMBLE, SLOGRO, FASGRO, RIPP, RATTLE, SCRATCH, SLIDE, VIBRA, BOLT, JML, FLAG, FUNERAL.

Below is an excerpt from the first rehearsal where we perform PATTERN and RATTLE.




Shackle Bits

A futuristic city scene from Fritz Lang's 1927 film, Metropolis

With their latest project Shackle Bits, Shackle is including silent film excerpts in their performances as yet another ingredient for improvisation. The excerpts are controlled from the Shackle System and switch most of the time in sync with the musical sections but every now and then have a life of their own. As improvisors we are then faced with the question what will take precedence: sound or image.

Below are some examples of live situations.

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irvine2 irvine3 irvine1

Here is a top-10 list of silent movies. See if you agree.




MOROS / final wrap

MOROS for contrabass clarinet and bass clarinet is wrapped. Some excerpts can be heard on the MOROS page. I hope there will be more possibilities to have the piece performed in the future.




January 21, 2015

Wrapping up 2014

I've been a bad boy in not posting regular updates, especially regarding the composition stipend I received so generously from the Performing Arts Fund NL. Can't really make up, but this is an attempt to clean the slate so I can talk about new projects for 2015.

It was an exciting and busy half year, the fall of 2014:

The premiere of Sonata for 10 pedals in Darmstadt and then in the Gaudeamus Muziekweek (video), which was a fruitful and succesful collaboration with composer Lucas Wiegerink. Lucas came up with the concept and wrote the notes, I developed the live electronics.

Soundtrackcity organized monthly walks of the soundwalk Steenklank. Exciting to see so many people interested in this new medium.

After the premiere of A Short Piece of Decay in July, another performance at festival PARKMUSIK in Bad Münster-Ebernburg.

In September I ran the installation GeluidjesFabriek ZAAG55 near Rotterdam. A great place with great people. The kick-off of the Soundlings Factory. (See post)

The fall of 2014 also saw ABATTOIR getting back together for a collaboration with the Cologne-based Timeart ensemble. Documentation can be found here (the video doesn't seem to work in Firefox). (See post)

The First Law of Kipple was performed by Michael Bonaventure in London, with the sound tech by myself. The Catford church is a wonderful 60's church with great acoustics. The program worked very well as a whole, and we're working hard getting this performed in other spaces. (See post)

December brought to light the premiere of MOROS, my 'science-fiction film in sound for bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet and live electronics'. A hard piece to tame, the premiere was succesful.

Furthermore, concerts with Jodi Gilbert & Albert van Veenendaal, Shackle Affair, Han Burs cs. at STEIM and Shackle at VROOOM.

Now that's off my chest, I'm ready to talk about what's new. In the next post though, first fix the light on my bike first. Click.




Sonata for 10 pedals | documentation video

This is a video of the rehearsal right before the premiere of 'Sonata for 10 pedals', a collaboration with Lucas Wiegerink. The premiere took place at KuuB, Utrecht, in the Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2014.




January 1, 2015

Shackle. Wishing you a stompin' 2015




October 14, 2014

MOROS trailer

Working hard finalizing MOROS for contra bass clarinet, bass clarinet and electronics. This is a sneak preview of the sound world. Premiere on December 14 at Splendor in an exciting program with 5 other composer/performers.




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