NKK NXT 20/21—Immix: Bloom
Conceptualized and developed in a world in lock-down, full of online meetings, where physical meetings are at a premium, this performance is a musical inquiry into this new art of gathering.
Ragnheiður Erla Björnsdóttir — Bloom
Ragnheiður Erla Björnsdóttir — Okeme Babel
Se Enkhbayar — The Praise of Eight Steeds
Lyrics: 那 顺 Na Shun
Chinese translation: 乌兰杰 Wu Lan Jie
嗻！ 嗬！ 叮啼哩 叮 叮 啼哩啼哩啼哩啼哩 Zhe ho ding ti li ding ding ti li ti li ti li ti li [These are onomatopoeia] 黃驃馬鬃馱來太陽 黃驃馬尾掃落月亮 The huangbiao horses [a kind of horse that is one of the fastest and most beautiful species in Chinese legends] carry the sun on their manes; the huangbiao horses sweep down the moon by their tails 黃驃馬身連著草原 黃驃馬背映著霞光 The bodies of the huangbiao horses are connected to the grassland; The huangbiao horses’ backs reflect the light of the coloured clouds 黃驃馬嘶威震世界 黃驃馬踢踏破山崗 The neighing of the huangbiao horses shakes the world; the huangbiao horses kick and break the mountain 黃驃馬在呼喚勇士 八駿渾身都是力量 The huangbiao horse are calling for warriors; the eight steeds are full of power 咪努嗻！ 啼哩…嗬！ 叮啼哩 啼哩哩… [These are onomatopoeia] 成吉思汗的忠實伙伴 大自然母親的無私恩典 Genghis Khan’s loyal companion; Mother Nature’s selfless blessing 蒙族的驕傲 戰馬的威嚴 The pride of the Mongolians; the majesty of the war horses 千歌萬曲流芳草原 The fragrance of the thousands of songs and tunes [of the huangbiao horses] remains and circulates in the grasslands 激情的火 智慧的源 The fire of passion; the source of wisdom 崇拜的圖騰 必勝的信念 The totem of worship; the conviction of victory 心中的弓 強者的箭 The bow in the heart; the arrow of the strong men 理想的駿馬 意志的升華 The ideal horses; the sublimation of spirit 戰斗的銳氣 振興的朝霞 The spirit of fighting; the revitalised coloured clouds during sunrise 我們贊美你 八匹黃驃馬 理想的駿馬唷 We praise you, the eight steeds, the ideal horses
Ragnheiður Erla Björnsdóttir — re:shape
Einojuhani Rautavaara — Malagueña
Federico García Lorca
entra y sale
enters and leaves
de la taberna.
Pasan caballos negros Black stallions y gente siniestra and sinister people por los hondos caminos pass down the deep roads de la guitarra. of the guitar.
Y hay un olor a sal And there is a smell of salt y a sangre de hembra, and of female blood, en los nardos febriles in the feverish tuberoses de la marina. of the seaside.
La muerte Death entra y sale, enters and leaves y sale y entra and leaves and enters la muerte the death de la taberna. of the tavern.
Ragnheiður Erla Björnsdóttir — curls I
Erik Bergman — Vier Galgenlieder
Tapetenblume bin ich fein,
Wallpaper flowers am I prettily,
kehr wieder ohne Ende,
return without end,
doch, statt im Mai'n und Mondenschein,
but, instead of in May and moonlight,
auf jeder der vier Wände.
on all four of the walls.
Du siehst mich nimmerdar genung, You never see me enough, so weit du blickst im Stübchen, as far as you look in the sitting room, und folgst du mir per Rösselsprung – and if you follow me by a knight's move [chess] – wirst du verrückt, mein Liebchen. you'll go mad, my love.
Ragnheiður Erla Björnsdóttir — curls II
Erik Bergman — Vier Galgenlieder
1. Das grosse Lalula
Seiokrontro – prafriplo:
Bifzi, bafzi; hulalem̄i:
quasti basti bo…
Lalu lalu lalu lalu la!
Hontraruru miromente zasku zes rü rü? Entepente, leiolente klekwapufzi lü? Lalu lalu lalu lala la!
Simarat kos malzlpempu silzuzankunkrei (;)! Marjomar dos: Quempu Lempu Siri Suri Sei [ ]! Lalu lalu lalu lalu la!
Ragnheiður Erla Björnsdóttir — curls III
Ruben Grevelink, Jobbe Hoebink & Jesse van der Wel — When we don’t see
Lies and truth denied,
to prove our pride,
guide our game
Lies and truth denied,
to smooth the sides,
hide our shame
In fear, who’ll understand? One wonders; ‘who is foe? who is friend?’ that record plays all over again Woman nor man can mend…
Lies and truth denied, to separate and divide
One look, but none who see Staring blind in bright L.E.D. There’s no connection How could there be? Just let it be! Please, be!
When we don’t see, It seems that we in our anguish are blinding the eye to what could be.
Opening eyes, So much we can realise When we see!
Much as fright begs the body to fight or flee From heart to heart to heart to heart, flow! From heart to heart to heart to heart, know!
There lies truth In the branch of an olive tree From heart to heart to heart to heart, see! From heart to heart to heart to heart, be! Steadily, show me…
When we don’t see, It seems that we in our anguish are blinding the eye to what could be.
Mirrors in us call Can we look at our reflection? We all must take action You see To avoid the debris
Open eyes. Realise and see.
On Common ground Once found There’s a space Where all of us can be Where you and me are we
James MacMillan — O Radiant Dawn
O Radiant Dawn, Splendour of eternal Light, Sun of Justice: come, Shine on those who dwell in darkness And the shadow of death. Isaiah had prophesied, 'The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light: Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.' Amen.
William Byrd — Ave Verum Corpus
Ave verum Corpus, natum Hail true body, born De Maria Virgine, of virgin Mary, Vere passum, immolatum having truly suffered, sacrificed In cruce pro homine, on the cross for mankind, Cuius latus perforatum from whose injured side Unda fluxit sanguine: whence flows blood: Esto nobis praegustatum Be for us a foretaste In mortis examine. in the trial of death. O dulcis, O pie, O Jesu Fili Mariae, miserere mei. O sweet, o holy, o Jesus son of Mary, have mercy on me. Amen.
Jobbe Hoebink — Hier
This moment only
You and I
Here and now
Take them These words into the ear Thus moves thought to word Through sou.n.d. Be enchanted Like a child who in a seashell newly found discovers the ever-sounding sea.
Breath with me Here and now Out and in And out Thus begins on breath's rhythm a new sentence again and again Here out Now in
My lips feel tight, a box She shifts, minus, plus Registers in one, in nill Nill, one, one, nill Pulsates them through the cable Enwaves them through the air Over cities over countryside Through ocean's deepest depths 'till 'yond the moon and back The whole world she brings thus to your home Where, through tube and thread and the so called "speaker", she deposits the words in the little shells of your ears Back to you Here and now
I am happy you are listening.
Through your head, through your throat Through our chest, belly and legs With your feet planted on the ground Into the deepest part of your toes These series of pulses These waves through the air Find their way back into the earth on which I stand Wherefrom this sounds...
When I can feel your touch once more And see you not in pixels but by light of moon or sun I will go back Out and in Here and now to where all had begun
Vär timma är som en månad lång
Vär timma är som en månad lång, Every hour is as long as a month, vär månad som ett år. every month as a year. Så längtar jag efter dig, So much do I long for you, min lilla vän, my sweet friend, fast jag dig aldrig får. although I will never have you.
The Old Churchyard
Come, come with me to the old churchyard,
I so well know those paths 'neath the soft green sward
Friends in there that we want to regard;
We can trace out their names in the old churchyard
Mourn not for them, their trials are o'er, And why weep for those who will weep no more? For sweet is their sleep, though cold and hard Their pillows they be in the old churchyard
I know that it's vain when our friends depart To breathe kind words to a broken heart; And I know that the joy of life is marred When we follow friends to the old churchyard
Ragnheiður Erla Björnsdóttir — Heol Heol
Sebastiaan Ammerlaan (NL)
Ever since Sebastiaan begged his parents for violin lessons when he was four, music took a strong hold of him. He soon changed the violin for the viola, then started singing, studying classical singing at the HKU Utrecht Conservatoire with Jón Þorsteinsson and Selma Harkink. Today he studies at the Master for Ensemble Singing at the Royal Conservatoire with Harry van Berne and Gerda van Zelm.
Sebastiaan played in the Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands and sang in the National Youth choir. He was a frequent participant in Meesters & Gezellen, another education project of both the Netherlands Chamber Choir and Cappella Amsterdam. He also sang in the TENSO Europe Chamber Choir and is part of the Bach Choir of the Netherlands.
In 2017, he founded the Ensemble for New Music with soprano Veronika Akhmetchina. He also sings in Ensemble Cantorex with soprano Iris Bouman, alto Hester Westra and tenor Dierick Aartsen, a vocal ensemble specialising in Renaissance and Baroque music.
Ruben Grevelink (NL)
Ruben Grevelink is a singer, choir conductor and music teacher based in Utrecht. He started his musical education in Utrecht at the Bachelor of Music in Education. It was during this bachelor that he discovered his love for vocal music. After he finished the bachelor he continued to study the master Innovative Choir Leading in Aalborg, Denmark. He graduated from the masters in 2020. During his time at this master he developed himself further as a conductor, arranger and vocal improviser.
As a conductor he is currently working with VOISZ Vocal Projects and gospel choir Hatikwa. He also gives workshops in vocal improvisation and rhythm and groove to choirs throughout The Netherlands.
As a bass singer Ruben is currently involved with The Baszment and RAMA Voices.
Julie Hasfjord (NO)
Julie Hasfjord is a Norwegian singer and performer who has been based in the Hague the last 5 years. As a classically trained singer, she appreciates having a versatile approach to genres and repertoire, and she especially enjoys collaborating with other artists in creating new music and art.
In the Netherlands she is currently active with her ensemble, Linen of Words, a recently formed new music collective with where she functions as a core member together with Leah Plave (cello) and Annick Odom (double bass/clarinet).
Julie is also active with her early music duo, Parnassos, based in Trondheim, Norway, where she regularly sings with Trondheim Vocal Ensemble. She completed her bachelor studies in classical singing at the University of Stavanger, Norway, where she studied with mezzo-soprano, Bettina Smith. In 2020 she completed her master's degree in classical singing at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, where she studied with Sasja Hunnego, Lenie van den Heuvel, Catrin Wyn-Davies and Noa Frenkel.
Jobbe Hoebink (NL)
Born and raised in Brabant, the Netherlands, this artist had many interests before at last the arrow struck home when he started singing in University. Though it was not very much appreciated by the librarians of Maastricht, the local musical school was very enthused. He moved to Tilburg to follow a music theatre education, studied at the Meisner Toneelacademie in Den Bosch and finally finished a Master of Music in Music Theater in summer 2020, at the Fontys Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Conservatory. During the years he has broadened his scope to more classical and early music theatre repertoire and early musical as well as kleinkunst which seemed a natural fit.
In their artistry Jobbe always strives for urgency. Their broad interest in politics, society and our connection to nature, together with a fascination for words and story, has made them starting to jot down new original songs and creative texts, some of which you have heard today.
Next to being a singer, Jobbe works as a freelance actor in the Efteling and has his own singing students aiming to share the joy and trust in finally finding one’s voice, to be shared on stage, in a park or, indeed, from between the bookshelves of a library.
Phoebe Kirrage (UK)
Phoebe Kirrage is a British soprano, hailing from the Midlands.
Having received an extensive musical education in the UK, including receiving a Bachelor of music with Honours from Royal Holloway University of London, where she performed as a member of the Choir of Royal Holloway under the direction of Rupert Gough, and throughout London with composers and conductors such as James Macmillan, Eamonn Dougan and Howard Goodall.
She moved to the Netherlands to study for her Masters at the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague, studying with Noa Frenkel and Carolien Drewes, where she graduated with a grading of nine.
Phoebe has had the pleasure of performing in a number of both the UK and the Netherlands prestigious performance venues such as The Royal Albert Hall and The Barbican and in the Grote Zaal in TivoliVredenburg both in chorus and soloist positions.
Within the Conservatoire, Phoebe had the opportunity to perform and prepare roles in The Fairy Queen,Turn of The Screw and La Boheme.
Future performances planned for Phoebe include a number of performances with De Dirigente as the soloist for Mendelssohn’s Psalm 42, and singing the role of Antonia in Holland Opera’s 2022 summer seasons premiere of The Divorce of Figaro.
Emma Nelson (UK)
Emma Nelson is a Mezzo-Soprano, aged 23 and an alumna of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she studied classical voice. During her final year she studied abroad where she was based in the Netherlands pursuing her singing at Codarts University of the Arts, Rotterdam. She currently resides in the Netherlands and is working as a member of the NKK NXT ensemble and also as a freelancer with De Nationale Opera en Ballet koor, Amsterdam.
At a young age being a member of choirs such as Schola Exe, the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, she has continued her choral work as a lay clerk and also as a scholar with the BBC National Chorus of Wales.
Emma’s experience with opera has included Handel’s Acis and Galatea with Donald Maxwell in Hestercombe Gardens, Somerset. Further mentions include playing a lead role in the Carlisle Floyd opera Susannah as ‘Little Bat’, her first practise of a trouser role character. Another notable opera experience was her involvement in the Welsh National Youth Opera’s world premier of Kommilitonen! by Peter Maxwell Davies which received a 5* review in both The Guardian and The Times.
Although Emma’s training is in Classic Music, she also performs genres such as jazz, folk, traditional middle eastern and new music through collaborations with up and coming composers. Emma has also been able to provide a voice to film music, including a NETFLIX production, Apostle (2018), and a short film titled The Iris Echo.
Ariel Sin Yu Lee (HK)
Ariel Sin Yu Lee is a mezzo-soprano and flutist from Hong Kong.
She completed her bachelor's degree in music at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2012, on flute and singing, with an entrance scholarship by the university.
She was awarded the Holland Scholarship by the Dutch government in 2017 and obtained her master’s degree in voice at the HKU Utrecht Conservatory in 2019. Ariel currently studies singing with the renowned vocal educator Henny Diemer.
In 2017, she performed as one of the vocal soloists in Cantabile Limited's production of Handel's Messiah in Hong Kong. In the same year, she made her opera debut with the Hong Kong Philharmonic in Purcell's “Dido and Aeneas”, singing the roles of second woman and second witch.
Ariel was also an active chamber musician in Hong Kong as a flutist and vocalist. She founded the chamber music ensemble “The Music Circles” in 2013 with two musician friends in Hong Kong. Among all the concerts organised by “The Music Circles”, the most successful ones are the tango concert series led by the Argentinean tango flutist Eduardo Tami.
During her master’s study in the Netherlands, she had studied and performed various opera, art songs, oratorios and chamber music repertoires under the guidance of different coaches.
In 2018, Ariel's chamber music trio performed in the last round of Storioni Willem Twee Chamber music Competition in 's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands as one of the finalists. In 2019, Ariel performed as the soloist of the talent opera “To Plant Again” in the Opera Forward Festival organized by the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam. She is invited by the Opera Viva Festival in Woerden, the Netherlands, to give vocal rectials in the 2020 and 2021 editions.
Ariel has a broad interest in music, besides classical singing, she also does pop and jazz music. Ariel is also very interested in theater.
Ariel is currently a member of the talent development programme “NKK NXT” (4th edition) of the Netherlands Chamber Choir. The group consists of nine young artists in the disciplines of music and theater. They will continue as vocal ensemble IMMIX after finishing the traineeship programme.
In Dec 2020, Ariel, Gordon H. Williams (composer, researcher), Sol Enae Lee (visual artist) and Augustin Faundez Rojas (percussion) founded the artist collective “Fire is Scary”. The collective presents new original music with the elements of visual arts and theater. “Fire is Scary” is currently one of the research labs of “School of Commons”, a community-based initiative dedicated to the study and development of decentered knowledge, located at the Zürich University of the Arts.
Jesse van der Wel (NL)
I’m Jesse van der Wel, an Arnhem based music theatre maker and singer. I graduated from ArtEZ Music Theatre in 2019 and I have been freelancing since then. I initially studied Theatre in Education, but during my first year my dreams and goals began to change and I discovered the study Music Theatre with its experimental approach. I entered there with a vision of combining Pina Bausch and Björk and later on I encountered other inspirations like James Blake, Wende and Roomful of Teeth. As a theatremaker I’m very visual and I often start with the musicality of lighting and moving bodies. As a singer I move mostly within pop, but I do have experience with classical singing and I’m also really into improvisation. I compose as well, from theatrical popsongs to choir compositions.
Merel Wentink (NL)
Cooperation, always looking for artistic urgency and a broad musical and artistic orientation. Those are the most important characteristics of Merel Wentink.
Merel is artistically strongest when collaborating closely with others. This is visible in her career as mezzo soprano. Apart from being involved with NKK NXT 20/21 (Immix) Merel is singing with Trio Ridente. This is an ensemble she set up in 2019, together with Meike Wijma (soprano) and Julia Hoorman (piano). Trio Ridente interprets songs and duets from different styles and combines them with up-to-date topics, text and theatre.
From the beginning of her classical singing studies at the conservatory in Groningen, Merel has been interested in projects with a certain societal and artistic urgency. Next to gaining experience as a soloist in oratoria (Bach's Matthew Passion, Mendelssohn's Elias, Mozart's Requiem), she searched for this urgency in several productions within the Opera Forward Festival and an internship at Holland Opera. In these projects she collaborated with multiple contemporary composers and experimented with different acting styles.
In her collaboration with The Skypainters (a modern jazz collective with classical influences) and with Wende Snijders in her show ‘De Wildernis’, she enriched her repertoire by getting a taste of cross-over styles with non-classical music.
Stijn Dijkema (1992) studeerde in 2020 af aan de regieopleiding in Amsterdam met een eigen bewerking van *Oedipus Rex*. Sinds zijn afstuderen regisseerde hij onder andere bij de Nationale Opera en Ballet (In Nabijheid), de Stadsschouwburg en Philharmonie Haarlem (Kenau) en schreef en realiseerde hij de voorstelling *Een hart onder de riem* op het nieuwe platform 'Acteur aan de Deur’.
Ragnheiður Erla Björnsdóttir
Ragnheiður Erla Björnsdóttir is an Icelandic composer and poet based in Vienna. Her practice centres around research of sound-based elements with language using experimental vocal technique, syllable language and phonetic poetry to deconstruct text with compositional techniques.
Björnsdóttir has worked as a composer at the National Theatre of Iceland, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service and the Reykjavík City Theatre. Working in international projects, she collaborates with directors, dancers, visual artists and other musicians leading her compositions to have been performed in countries such as the United States, Finland, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Sweden and Iceland.
Björnsdóttir’s pieces have been performed at contemporary music festival such as Dark Music Days, WeW! Contemporary Festival, TutTötTuð and Young Nordic Music, where she was chosen as one of Iceland’s representatives in 2019. Her music has been portrayed in a National Geographic short film, as well as having composed the music score for three full-length films in Iceland.
Erla holds a MA in Creative Writing from the University of Iceland, specializing in the research of music and language, and a BA in Composition from the Icelandic Academy of the Arts under the guidance of composer Hróðmar I. Sigurbjörnsson. She completed exchange studies in Creative Writing at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland in 2017.
Her poetry has been published in magazines in the United States, the UK and Iceland. Additionally, she frequently writes poetry and librettos for other musician’s projects from a sound-derived perspective.
Björnsdóttir is a member of Hlökk, an art ensemble together with composers Ingibjörg Ýr Skarphéðinsdóttir and Lilja María Ásmundsdóttir. Their album, Hulduhljóð, won the Kraumur Music Awards 2019 and was nominated as the album of the year at the Icelandic Music Awards. Björnsdóttir was also nominated, with Hróðmar I. Sigurbjörnsson, for the composition of the year for their children's opera, The Seal Woman, at the Icelandic Music Awards.
Charlie Feld was born in 1996 and has been dedicated to the visual element his whole life. In 2014 he started studying Audiovisual Media at the HKU (University of the Arts Utrecht). He specialized in camera operator and cinematographer.
Since he finished his study he works as a freelance filmmaker and director. He makes everything from commercials, documentaries to fiction. The last 3 years he has also been working in the livestream business.
Niels de Groot
Minke van der Stelt