Maya Verlaak

Composer & performer

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Maya Giovannina Luigia Verlaak is a Belgian composer and performer (born in Ghent, 1990).
In 2008 she moved to the Netherlands to study at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague (NL).
She studied major Composition and minor Sonology (Sound Analysis and Technology). She studied composition with Gilius Van Bergeijk, Diderik Haakma Wagenaar, Peter Adriaansz and Martijn Padding.
In June 2015 she graduated with a distinction.

In March 2015, Maya got accepted in the AHRC funded Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership.
She moved to Birmingham (UK) and started her PhD in October 2015.
Her supervisors are Michael Wolters, Howard Skempton and John Richards.

Verlaak's works have been commissioned and performed by diverse ensembles and musicians such as
the New European Ensemble (NL), Ensemble Klang (NL), London Sinfonietta (UK), Acid Police Noise Ensemble (NL), Rosa Ensemble (NL), ACM ensemble (UK), Slagwerkgroep Den Haag (NL), IEMA, Ensemble Modern (DE), Divertimento Ensemble (IT), Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra (UK), Percussion quartet: Abstrukt(UK), X.Y ensemble (UK), Khz Collective
Leo Svirky (piano), Christian Schmitt (natural horn), Janet Forbes (recorder&voice), Robert de Bree (recorder), Gijsbert Kok (Carillon), Karin de Fleyt (Flute).

During the process of composing a new piece she distances herself from the conventional sound-focussed compositional process.
She applies a ‘Hexe’ attitude: taking a critical approach by analysing the context and re-evaluating the situation.
This process creates a distance from the subject because she is standing near the fence so to speak, observing the situation from the periphery.
Working from such a distance often results in the creation of humour in the final realisation of a composition.
Because of this specific compositional method, She also often re-writes her pieces when they are taken-up by different performers and/or instruments and/or performed in a different environment and therefore forces her to re-evaluate the connection between her musical concepts and their means of execution.

Maya is currently also curating (in collaboration with Richard Stenton and Zachaeus Dawson) 'Post-Paradise',
a monthly concert series for New Music in Birmingham, UK. Programming local composers and guests from around the UK and abroad.