Towering Above (2016)

 

Towering Above is a symphonic suite, written for a concert where it appears next to Tombeau de Couperin (1917) and the fourth symphony of Schubert (1817). Towering Above (2017) is a work that's very aware of it's place in this history. In 4 movements (Layers, Corners, Towers and Facades) the work departs from the shapes and forms of a baroque dance suite (as heard in the Ravel), and replaces them with geometrical forms inspired by famous buildings. 

Click here to see the score for this work!

I Can Change (2016)

After his son is attacked by a dog in the park, Martin’s seemingly idyllic family is shaken. As the father, he can only look on helplessly, while his son records his impotence with a camcorder. A few days later, Martin runs into the dog’s owner - the perfect opportunity to make amends for his previous feeble reaction. The owner turns out to be less compliant than expected and Martin has to give in. Things escalate and, all the while, the camcorder’s presence is like the Sword of Damocles. When the Sword inevitably falls and Martin is faced with his own impotence, he decides to go after the dog. At any cost he has to push himself to the limit, even if this requires the shedding of blood. Will he succeed or will his act of heroism be sabotaged?

 

Directed by
Joachim Dejonghe
Starring
Kristof Coenen, Tine Van den Wyngaerde
Country of production
Belgium
Duration
30'

Music by
Mirek Coutigny

The Trail (2016)

The Trail is the second in a series of pieces that takes its form and content after a Michelin-map of a certain region. This time around, we take a trip from the guild-ridden town of Salem to the childish innocence of the Danbury camp meeting, subject of the violin sonata by Charles Ives.   We know Salem from the witch trials in the 17th century,  from books filled with adultary like 'The Scarlett Letter' by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and associate it with the puritan surroundings of books like 'Little Children' and 'The Leftovers' by Tom Perotta. We travel through the woods, passing Walden Pond and the Mattatuck State forest, only to be faced with our own guilt of what seemed so innocent at the start.  The Trail is scored for clarinet in Bb, viola and piano.           

Station Eleven (2016)

Station Eleven is based on the book by Emily St-John-Mandel. 

The story tells of a group of wandering artists in a desolate world, 20 years after a devastating disaster.  
Roaming along the remains of the metropolises between the Great Lakes, they perform Shakespeare and Beethoven and wonder about the fantastic world that once was. 

Structurally, it was my aim in this piece to reflect on the way a season of a television series is build. In 8 episodes the story takes shape by building small motifs and sound identities into a larger complex network. The bigger picture rises from this collection of musical cells that overlap and transform each other. Along the way the plot devices of television (cliffhanger, flashback, the intertwining of different stories) are incorporated in a musical argument

Bottom-Up (2016)

Directed by
Pieter De Saeger & Joachim Dejonghe
Starring
Clara Cleymans, Jelle De Beule
Country of production
Belgium
Duration
30'

Music by
Mirek Coutigny & Ruben De Gheselle

Go-getting head of department Eefje rolls into a well-integrated team where she is faced with three old hands. She wants to ‘streamline’ the department with modern management techniques, but quickly finds herself skating on thin ice with one of her employees, Frederick.

When she wants to organise a ‘debriefing’ at the end of the day, she thereby forces Frederick to abandon his plans for the evening. He takes revenge by disrupting the meeting in a cynical way, despite the positive but helpless input from his colleagues.

Nonetheless, Eefje is determined to win the struggle for power in a civilized way. She takes her tormentor to one side and asks him to put his cards on the table. The perfect trigger for Frederick to shatter both her and your perception of reality…

Meisje, Jongen, Rivier/Irreversible (2015)

 

Written by Jonathan Bonny and Mirek Coutigny of Headliner, Irreversible and Meisje, Jongen, Rivier were part of a program called 'Music for Comic Books'. The pieces served as the musical backdrop for the wordless graphic novel by Sanne Vanderkrieken. The complex tapestry of synthesizers, piano and vibraphone evolve from the dark, brooding start of the novel into the light colors of the last pages. 

Look Up (2014)

The idea for Look Up emerged from different sources of inspiration all growing toward one concept. First there was the spoken word poem Look Up, with a clip that was shared by millions on social media and that talked in a preachy way about this generation and their lack of contact with the 'real world'. At the same time I felt a longing for solitude, glorifying the idea of 'the cabin in the woods'. Dreaming of a little house with a glass roof. The opposition of being alone in a small room and looking up: through the roof, where clouds pass by and stars light up. And suddenly feeling so small again in this big, beautiful world. 

Bursting Balloon (2013)

" I had always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn't a second at all, it stretches on forever, like an ocean of time... For me, it was lying on my back at Boy Scout camp, watching falling stars... And yellow leaves, from the maple trees, that lined my street... Or my grandmother's hands, and the way her skin seemed like paper... And the first time I saw my cousin Tony's brand new Firebird... And Janie... And Janie... And... Carolyn. I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me... but it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life... You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry... you will someday. " 

Colorful Danger, Safe Grey (2014)

I had already for a little while the dream about a piece that could capture the complex phenomenon of 'the suburbs'. How every house is the same, safe, but grey. I looked for a vantage point to tell the story in a way that speaks to the imagination, and still could show the artificial aspect of those neighborhoods. Everything converged magically when I got my hands on the book 'Tales from outer suburbia' by Shaun Tan. It became a work about a journey through an environment that becomes so burdensome because of the similarity of every street. A trip where a child in all nativity searches for the end of the world. And when it becomes so disillusioned because of the artificial aspect of the neighborhood, it reaches the edge of his world. Let his legs dangle across, the world at his feet. 

Nobody's Fault (2012)

In 'Nobody's Fault', I tried to find out to what extend a structure is transferrable between different forms of media. Nobody's Fault is originally an episode of the american tv-series, House MD, about the rebel doctor House, always on the razor thin edge between emotional madness and rational genius. The composition takes the entire structure of problem and resolution literally in a down scaled version of the 50 minutes episode and tries to generate to same arc of overall tension as the original. The little material that is in the piece is derived from the title song of the series, 'Teardrop' by Massive Attack.