Robert van Heumen Composer Improvisor Laptop-Instrumentalist Sound-Designer
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** Due to lack of time, this blog is rarely updated. **

March 9, 2021

Releases on Bandcamp

I have released a number of my albums on Bandcamp. Let me know if you prefer the physical thing, there are still some left.

March 29, 2020

Streaming event: NL_CL #1: The Future of Music

Last night I was part of the streaming (un)concert NL_CL #1: The Future of Music. In light of recent global circumstances making in-person performances increasingly difficult for performing artists, the organisors presented the first NL_CL / iii collaboration as a live streamed (un)concert.

An interesting experience, even more alienating than the frequent Microsoft Teams meetings I have been doing the last two weeks, because you have no idea whatsoever of who is really listening and what their response is; aside from some chat messages.

The stream can be viewed here.

November 26, 2019

Shackle retired

Anne La Berge and I have travelled the world more than a few times as the electro acoustic duo Shackle. We have decided to end the journey since we’ve been on different paths these days. Not exactly the last supper, but we did go out and celebrate. Beginnings and endings are powerful moments in our lives and Jacqueline Oskamp summed up our story with a text that says it all (a Dutch version is also available). We have also made available the Shackle Archive.

October 7, 2018

Chains of Code

Last week I have been improvising with Felipe Ignacio Noriega in Zaal 100, Amsterdam. Just to get inspired, to see where this could lead us. Three excerpts can be heard below.

June 12, 2018

Utopa Baroque Organ, again

This exceptional organ is keeping me busy. On June 4th the Orgelpark hosted a demo/presentation for the call for compositions that Orgelpark and the Conlon collective have published. I presented and demo'd the digital console and its MIDI and OSC possibilities. For those of you who would like to have been present but weren't, here is some documentation:

Video of the evening:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Raw documentation (in progress)
3 Scenarios
MIDI mapping (in progress)
Utopa temperament

March 27, 2018

KP6-3.7 at Orgelpark

Last Saturday my new composition for the Utopa Baroque Organ at Orgelpark saw the light. After a long development process with many technical hiccups, I was glad all went well. The piece was very well received, and the machines did not fail me.

Many thanks to all people at Orgelpark, that beautiful place.

KP6-3.7 (9’06") (work-in-progress)
for digitally enhanced Baroque organ, monophonic analog synth and live electronics
by Robert van Heumen

The music of KP6-3.7 is a process, a journey and a continuation of the ideas developed for the piece First Law of Kipple composed for the Sauer organ. Using existing material from different media, morphing it unrecognizable, I try to pay homage to my inspirations and at the same time create something entirely new. The new Baroque Organ inspired me to develop my ideas for a hyper-organ into new areas, combining sampled material, analog synthesizer and processed field-recordings with the traditional organ sound to create an instrument that unites the acoustic and the electronic into a whole. Since the organ was not available for experiments until 4 weeks before this premiere, the piece is not sealed yet, and will continue to be developed.

December 9, 2017

Curves / Hot Spot On Chili Tour

Robert van Heumen, Matthias Muche, Sven Hahne, Luis Negrón and Anne La Berge played three concerts in Chile together. We billed ourselves as Hot Spot On, and we were just that.

Our first concert was part of the Turrel Series run by Marcelo Maira Moya in a gallery/restaurant Dinamarca space in the colorful city of Valparaiso.

Our second was in the Sala SCD in Plaza Egana, a hall at the very top of a shopping mall. We were joined by Marcelo Maira Moya on flute, sax and noise makers for an intense and punchy second set.

Our third was in the more southern city Valdivia as opener for the Relincha Festival at the Museum for Contemporary Art, an incredible place overlooking the water where sea lions and birds were vying for fish scraps at the market on the other side.

We travelled by plane and bus, drank the local wine and pisco sours, just like a real band.

Matthias Muche, Robert van Heumen, Anne La Berge, Luis Negrón, Sven Hahne

Special thanks to Sven who organized the tour and to Marcelo who was present at every gig as producer, performer and host.

And to our funding support:

Goethe Institut Köln

Review of Songs of Love

Massimo Ricci of Touching Extremes wrote a lyrical review of Songs of Love (and Decay).

"Van Heumen made the most of his technical skillfulness to ensure that nothing sound predictable or stale, and he succeeded. The choice of vocalist Evelien Van Den Broek appears perfect for the scope. The lyrics are rendered with a cross of detached sadness and genuine anger. They talk of hope and disillusion; of processes of growth that had been imagined in a thoroughly different light."

Read the full review here.

October 17, 2017

Songs of Love (and Decay)

The album Songs of Love (and Decay) is released as of today! A special day indeed.

Available on Bandcamp.

October 10, 2017

Line Management

The Line Management concert took place at Orgelpark on October 7, 2017. A collaboration with musician/composers Michael Bonaventure, René Huysmans, Felipe Ignacio Noriega, Yung-Tuan Ku and Luiz Henrique Yudo, the evening presented an eclectic mix of new music.

I presented three sets there: Automatic consists of 4 short pieces for The Busy Drone, Orgelpark’s Dance Organ. The main role is played by the percussion section and the pieces stress unusual ways of playing this dance organ. The natural sound of the organ is enhanced by electronically manipulated versions.

Point-to-Organ is the next version in a series of installation/compositions revolving around the movement of colored blocks on a screen. Guided by the animation of the blocks, electronic and acoustic tones are moving in and out, emancipating from both the Sauer organ, the computer and the Verschueren organ. This version is the most performative one, with the composer controlling the sequence of colors and organist Bonaventure responding to those colors.

And finally an improvised set of chains of interaction. Live-coder Noriega interacts with the audience through his code, triggering sounds from the Busy Drone. Van Heumen live samples these sounds and throws them at Ku, who adds bass-drum, snare-drum, metal and cymbals to the percussive sound world.

May 20, 2017

Sanoma Technology Video Trailer

For Sanoma Technology I created the sound of a video trailer. Check out their video's with the trailer here.

April 27, 2017

Loop-Copy-Mutate: Music from People and Places

Loop-Copy-Mutate: Music from People and Places is a new project by the Genetic Choir which will yield a year-long series of concerts. Led by singer and artistic director Thomas Johannsen the Genetic Choir will direct our ears towards something urbanites often take for granted: city sounds. Together with laptop artist Robert van Heumen, programmer Stelios Manousakis, and the public, the choir will transform sampled city sounds into voice and music compositions.

We recentely did a try-out at TAC Eindhoven, which was very succesful! Recordings can be listened here.

Upcoming performances:
June 23, 2017: at STEIM Amsterdam
Juny 2, 2017: Noord/Zuidlijn Underground (below Amsterdam Centraal Station)

February 13, 2017


Last week I worked for a full day with the Busy Drone, a dance organ located at Orgelpark in Amsterdam. A very interesting instrument. You can listen to some sketches here: AUTOMATIC.

February 9, 2017


After presenting Point-to-Line at Museum De Pont last month, I felt the urge to make the idea available to more people. To satisfy that urge I have been working on a simplified online version, implemented in Javascript, Web Audio API and HTML Canvas. Exciting technologies! Not tested on all operating systems and browsers yet, so I am very interested in all feedback.

      > Enter PointCode


January 31, 2017

Songs of Love (and Decay)

Songs of Love (and Decay) is a song-cycle by Robert van Heumen for voice and electronics performed by Evelien van den Broek with financial support from the Performing Arts Fund NL. A series of personal texts about love in a decaying (sound) world. Inspired by Christian Fennesz' Endless Summer and J.M. Coetzee's Summertime.

The first song can be listened here. First in many meanings.

January 26, 2017

Point-to-Line at De Pont

A week ago I presented the installation/composition Point-to-Line at Museum De Pont, a fabulous modern art museum in the southern part of the Netherlands. I was nice hearing responses on the thing I built. Making some adjustments, below are two video's of the current state. The first one is a live rendition, a composed version, where I was at the controls making decisions on color patterns, which are leading the sound. The second one is where I let the installation run automatically, so any human hand in image and sound progression is purely a result from configuration done in the software prior to running it.

Note: due to the screen-capture process the video quality is lower than in real live.

December 9, 2016


Currently I am working on the audiovisual installation/composition Point-to-Line, inspired by the installation Macroworld: One Hours3 and Canned by Angela Bulloch (now on show at Museum De Pont). On January 19 I will pitch my virtual tent at Museum De Pont for a day, presenting Point-to-Line as a work-in-progress. I am very excited for this opportunity!

December 7, 2016


Shackle had a great time with Männer mit Motoren, working on the Curves project. After an intense week of programming, playing, swearing and nice dinners, we performed the work in Stadgarten (Cologne) on October 31 and in Splendor (Amsterdam) on November 16. Two very different concerts, both a great joy! We are currently documenting the project, for future versions, on the Curves page. More to come so stay tuned!

These are some photos from the concert in Splendor, Amsterdam on November 16, 2016:

November 9, 2016

Parish of Tama - premiere

Finally the cementmixer piece saw the light of day! Premiered at De Ruimte in Amsterdam on November 2. I was very happy with the result, it all worked out nicely. Pictures and a video of the full concert can be found on the Parish page.

Many thanks to everyone who made this possible: the players (Etienne, Leo, KuTuan and Oguz) and the organisers (Fie Schouten en Robert van 't Veld).

October 7, 2016

Things to do

It's been a while. Busy moving to Hilversum for more space, aural as well as spacial and nasal ;)

Things I am working on at the moment:

Preparing the performance of Parish of Tama, a piece for 6-tet and cement mixer. This will happen at De Ruimte in Amsterdam on November 2.

Preparing for Curves, a project from Shackle in collaboration with Männer mit Motoren. In october we will work for a week in Cologne and then play a concert at Stadgarten. Later in November we will perform in Splendor Amsterdam. Watch the events section for dates.

. . . .... _____ Point-to-Line _____ .... . . . is an audiovisual installation/composition, for which I received a stipend from the Performing Arts Fund NL. Inspired by the installation Macroworld by Angela Bulloch, on show at Museum De Pont in Tilburg NL, I am working on this thing and I'm not really sure if it turns out to be an installation or a performance. De Pont expressed interest and offered me to present a work-in-progress in their space. STEIM (my old home-away-from-home) is moving towards sound art, and is also interested in collaborating.

A couple of months ago I worked with Margret Wibmer on a soundscape for her installation/performance 'encounters with nature'. The documentation is now online.

That's it for now folks. Tune in later for more.

O yeah, and listening to Bowie's Alladin Sane album. The man keeps surprising me.

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** Due to lack of time, this blog is rarely updated. **
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