Series: All (x) music is (y)
All Verlaak's Music is Alouette (I&II)

Written for London Sinfonietta
Rewritten for ACM ensemble, Manchester (UK) at Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival 2014
Maya Verlaak Sept 2014

“All Verlaak’s Music is Alouette” is part of a series of three pieces, composed between
november 2013 and june 2014. The two other pieces in this set are “All English music is Greensleeves”
for BCMG ensemble, premiered in march 2014 and on BBC radio3 in April 2013 and
“All Dutch music is Andriessen”, for Ensemble Klang, premiered at Gaudeamus festival in september 2014.
During my London Sinfonietta rehearsal, Richard Baker and Richard Rijnvos – who had both studied composition in The Hague– remarked that I was a product of the Hague.
I took this to be a criticism and answered in protest, “Though I studied in The Hague composition department, I never agreed with any of the teachers; I was constantly arguing with them, I felt I had my own way of composing.
After making these remarks, I reflected further on the issue. Though I do not write music in the style of the ”Haagse school”, I definitely have a Hague attitude.
Looking back over on my pieces, there is a sustained sense of protest and critique running throughout
my work.This combative attitude is the most obvious in my piece “Kidnapping curator Ed McKeon”. However, this "protest" attitude shouldn't always be taken so literally, the most important part in my pieces is the act of reflection which can cause a protest piece but is not the only direction it can take. Writing for the London Sinfonietta, I decided to go for an ultimate self reflection and simplicity. I looked back to my childhood and listened to all the cassettes of recordings of my voice and self-built instruments that I made between 3-8 years old. Listening back to it, I thought I could hear a tiny bit of my bedtime song Alouette.

“All English music is Greensleeves” was written for the BCMG ensemble (Birmingham Contemporary Music Group) and started from the idea that the BCMG musicians are
very good musicians, so why let them play? Let's not have them play, just because they are so good. The instruments will play by themselves, and the score will dictate not what notes to play, but how to stop the instruments from playing.

“All Dutch Music is Andriessen “ developed after a masterclass with Frederik Rzweski.
I mentioned I studied in the Netherlands and in anger he said that he didn’t like Dutch orchestras and that all spectral music is just like Dutch orchestras. I asked him to explain,
and he said that all Dutch orchestras are out of tune, just like spectral music. I mentioned this to another composer present at a London Sinfonietta rehearsal; he analyzed this remark as a criticism of Louis Andriessen's decision to write an orchestral piece, something he had long claimed he would never do.

Audio and Video of both versions (London Sinfonietta and ACM ensemble):

You can listen to the London Sinfonietta version here:

Recorded by NMC recordings London, August 2014

and you can buy it here:

You can watch a video of the November 2014 performance of the ACM ensemble at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival  here: