Series: All (x) music is (y)
All English music is Greensleeves
by Maya Verlaak

Greensleeves  My former teacher, Gilius Van Bergeijk once told me that all English music can be brought down to Greensleeves.
I’ve written this piece for the BCMG ensemble in Birmingham, I’ve heard that they are very good musicians, for that reason I decided that they should not play their instruments but stop their instruments from playing.
The given score does not tell the musicans what to play it tells them how to stop their instrument from playing.
I make their instruments play on their own with using the so called transducers. Small devices which make any object into a speaker.
I have recorded each BCMG instrument, using Birmingham conservatoire students. I will play back these recordings through the instruments of the BCMG ensemble. Since I’m playing a violin sound through a violin, the violin resonates in its usual way and will sound like it is playing on its own.
During the piece, each musican will hear a part of a variation on Greensleeves through their instrument. It will loop until they have guessed the next note in the melody. If they guess the correct note, the melody continues.
I’ve made a Maxmsp program which reacts to the notes being played by the ensemble.
Everyting in this piece is fully determined, each musical figure within each micro structure within the full macro structure.
Having seen lots of live electroacoustic pieces, where computer programs crash, I added one more element to my piece.
The so called “hidden score” in my piece, the pre-recorded material, which can not be seen by the musicans, should be with the conductor in an closed envelope, saying “In case of emergency”. If the program crashes this score should be handed out to the musicans.
(Birmingham Feb. 2014)






The piece was performed at Frontiers Plus Festival 2014 at Birmingham Conservatoire.
It was performed by Thallein Ensemble and conducted by Howard Skempton.
BBC radio 3 was also present. They interviewed me and recorded the piece for broadcast in April 2014.
You can watch a video of the performance here: