contents

1. listen
2. abstract
3. program notes
4. in the press
5. technical details
6. performances

listen

abstract

dreams of airs (2017-18) is a cycle of poetry and music by Rozalie Hirs. Its sound world features eight musicians, a singer who speaks, and electronic sounds. The visual artists Boris Tellegen and Geert Jan Mulder designed a live video installation for the performance. The duration of the performance is around 60 minutes.

Rozalie Hirs – music (score, electronic sounds), poetry
Boris Tellegen, Geert Jan Mulder – moving image

program notes

dreams of airs: the longing of language – spoken word, binaural beats, brain waves, mirror neurons

The new full-length composition dreams of airs (2017-18) by the Netherlands-based composer/ poet Rozalie Hirs offers a unique listening experience. Its sound world features eight musicians, a singer who speaks, and electronic sounds. This concert setting can also be regarded as an audio-visual installation, including moving images by Boris Tellegen and Geert Jan Mulder. The combination of spoken word, music, and visuals serves to stimulate various senses at once.

Spoken word is the bedrock of Rozalie Hirs’ new cycle dreams of airs (2017-18). The complete work fully integrates music and poetry in various forms. The text is at times a conveyor of meaning, at times it can be listened to as pure sound poetry. The instruments emulate the speaking voice. First they shadow it, to then take up an autonomous role in constant dialogue with each other and with the voice. The composer-poet has performed her own poetry since 1991 and has developed an inimitable elocution style down the years. Hirs refers to the underlying, intrinsically musical, structure of language as the longing of language. In the poetry cycle long at present longing in her fifth poetry book gestamelde werken (Amsterdam: Querido, 2012) Hirs uncovers this phenomenon through Markov chain analysis, a mathematical statistical model revealing the underlying patterns within any structure. The moving images provide an additional visual connection between performers and audience.

Everyone has two ears but only a few people are aware of the fascinating universe hidden behind those auditory canals. For example, binaural beats are created when our left and right ears simultaneously hear two specific tones that differ only slightly in frequency, causing the brain to generate an illusory pulse. Specific frequencies produce brainwaves that match certain mental states such as waking, sleeping, focusing, learning, dreaming or meditation. Rozalie Hirs’ new work activates binaural beats that correspond to patterns that we associate with, for example, lucid dreaming and creativity. The binaural beatings create flow and help listeners to be in the moment. A plethora of binaural beats to which many beneficial characteristics are attributed can be found online. Binaural beats are known to aid sleep and increase one’s energy, motivation, and IQ. Come, listen, and experience for yourself what it does to you!

©2017 Rozalie Hirs

in the press

“And also here Nora Fischer takes the audience by the hand along the colourful words drawn out by Rozalie Hirs, reinforced with binaural beatings. With these beatings Rozalie Hirs seeks to evoke brain waves that bring us into a meditative state. She must be doing a pretty good job, because I have rarely encountered such a breathlessly listening audience.”
Ronald Rijken: Rozalie Hirs’ klankwereld van de binaural beats, Klankgat online, 12 november 2018.

dreams of airs is a complex piece of art, and very beautifully performed. In addition, it is also highly effective, for me any case. I feel clear and very energized.”
Ronald Rijken: Rozalie Hirs’ klankwereld van de binaural beats, Klankgat online, 12 november 2018.

technical details

commission
dreams of airs (2017-18) by Rozalie Hirs was commissioned by Iris or Hazel Foundation, with financial support of the Netherlands Performing Arts Fund. The visual art by Boris Tellegen and Geert Jan Mulder was commissioned by Iris or Hazel Foundation, with financial support of the Netherlands Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie. A new version of dreams of airs (2017-18, 2021 rev.) incorporating hyper-organ was commissioned by Orgelpark, Amsterdam.

instrumentation
voice
flute
Bb clarinet & bass clarinet
percussion
electric guitar
piano
violin
viola
cello

a MIDI pedal for triggering the electronic sounds, to be played by one of the musicians, and laptop

duration
60′ ca.

publisher
Rozalie Hirs’s music scores are published by Deuss Music. The score of dreams of airs (2017-18) can be purchased through this link.

further technical requirements
1.) QLAB software, to be installed on the above mentioned laptop
2.) The ‘dreams of airs’ QLAB sampler, to be obtained through Deuss Music.
3.) Microphone and stand for the voice
4.) Amplifier and mixer in the concert hall
5.) Stereo loudspeakers, to be placed within the ensemble
6.) Optional amplification of the ensemble (i.e. microphones, cables)
7.) Beamer, projection screen

thank you
The composer-poet thanks MacDowell, Yaddo, and Maison Dora Maar for their generous and indispensable residencies and fellowships, without which the cycle would not have come about. She also warmly thanks Johan Reyniers (dramaturgical advice), Martín Mayo (amanuensis), and Greet Swinnen (production Spectra Ensemble).

performances

4 December 2022, 14:15 CET, Rozalie Hirs (portrait concert): dreams of airs, Orgelpark, Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Lore Binon (voice), Spectra Ensemble, Filip Rathé (conductor) – world premiere of new version with hyper-organ

7 November 2021, 17:00 CET, Rozalie Hirs (portrait concert): dreams of airs, Copenhagen, Danmark – Signe Asmussen (voice), Athelas Sinfonietta, Signe Asmussen (voice), James Sherlock (conductor) – Danish premiere

31 October 2021, 14:15 CET, Rozalie Hirs (portrait concert): dreams of airs, Orgelpark, Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Lore Binon (voice), Spectra Ensemble, Filip Rathé (conductor) – world premiere of new version with hyper-organ **POSTPONED DUE COVID-19**

6 January 2019, 20:00 CET, Rozalie Hirs (portrait concert): dreams of airs, Avontuurlijke Muziek Series, Tivoli|Vredenburg/ Hertz Hall, Utrecht, The Netherlands – Nora Fischer (voice), Spectra Ensemble, Filip Rathé (conductor)

10 November 2018, 19:00 CET, Rozalie Hirs (portrait concert): dreams of airs, November Music, Willem Twee Concertzaal FKA De Toonzaal, Prins Bernhardstraat 4-6, 5211 HE Den Bosch, The Netherlands – Nora Fischer (voice), Spectra Ensemble, Filip Rathé (conductor) – world premiere