House of Mirrors
performed by Piccola Accademia degli Specchi
Giovanni Rosati, piano
Alessandra Amorino, flute
Assunta Cavallari, piano,
Claudia Di Pietro, sax
Giuliano Cavaliere, violin
Kyung Mi Lee, cello
The Italian ensemble Piccolla Academia degli Specchi performs the music of Dutch composer Douwe Eisenga. Five brand new pieces and one reworking form a great collection of music that combines repetitive grooves and lyrical lines.
Notes by the composer
The first ideas for Motion emerged in 2002 as a sketch for one of the parts of Requiem ‘53. Later, in 2007, this music evolved into the score for the short film Ports in Motion, commissioned by Zeeland Seaports. Inspired by the beautiful sound of Piccola Accademia degli Specchi (PADS) I made a completely new version in the beginning of 2011.
My chamber opera Kabaal (Row) from 2001 tells the story of the historic feud between the Dutch naval heroes of the 17th century, Michiel de Ruyter and Cornelis Tromp. Halfway through the opera written for tenor, baritone and percussion, comes a touching aria, based on a simple descending four-note pattern. Over the years I have made several attempts to write an instrumental version of this aria. No luck, until 2011. Again, the combination of instruments of PADS formed the key to this version.
In 2007 the oldest newspaper in the Netherlands, the ‘Zeeuwse Provinciale Courant’ (PZC) celebrated its 250th anniversary. The newspaper asked me to write a composition based on a 250-year old Sonata by the Dutch composer Christian Ernst Graf. The original and the resulting music for two baroque violins, baroque cello and harpsichord appeared on a privately released CD by the PZC. This new arrangement for PADS added two melodic lines to the original fabric of the voices.
The first version of Kick was composed in 2008 as Kick out the Muse, a work for chorus and orchestra based on texts by Federico Garcia Lorca. Lorca describes composing and performing music, as well as listening to music as a purely physical activity (sing with the sound of rushing blood). In the spring of 2011 I undertook a complete reworking of this music, resulting in this new piece Kick.
The music of Cloud Atlas has come a long way. The origins for this piece is a song written for a show based on the novel The Man in Grey by Michael Ende. In 2007, a fully recomposed version of the music formed my contribution to Cloud Atlas, a project based on the famous novel by David Mitchell. Cloud Atlas was released as a live CD in 2008. Two years later, the version for two pianos appeared on my CD The Piano Files. This is the first studio recording of a brand new ensemble version.
La Casa degli Specchi
The beginning of La Casa degli Specchi emerged in 2009 as one of the possible ideas for Delta Dance, a composition I wrote for the Clazz Ensemble. The core of the piece consists of only five notes, reflected and mirrored in many, different ways.
Piccola Accademia degli Specchi
The Rome-based Piccola Accademia degli Specchi (PADS) is a so-called Pierrot Ensemble with piano4hands, cello, violin, sax & flute as line-up. The artistic director of this wonderful ensemble is the Italian composer Matteo Sommacal. The musical leader and one of the pianists is Giovanni Rosati. The other members are Assunta Cavallari, piano, Kyung Mi Lee, cello, Giuliano Cavaliere, violin, Claudia Di Pietro, sax, and Alessandra Amorino, flute.
During the last couple of years the ensemble increased its reputation in Italy and the US and started several collaborations with composers from all over the world, including Matthias Kadar, William Susman, Irma Ravinale and Demetrius Spaneas.
In 2008 I met Matteo Sommacal on the social networking site MySpace. Discovering that our music shared some musical DNA, he quickly replied to my add: “Thanks for the add. Fantastic music. Actually, it seems that's true we share a close musical taste. Have you ever written anything for an ensemble? It would be a great pleasure to play your music in Italy”.
That was some kind of starting point. For a few years nothing happened until the summer of 2010 when Matteo mailed me: “We were wondering if there is a piece of yours that fits our line-up. We would be honoured and glad to have a piece of yours in our repertoire”.
We decided to do a reworking of Cloud Atlas and Daily Music. While working on those two pieces I quickly discovered that this particular combination of instruments fitted very well with my music. After a few more mails and Skype sessions we agreed to extend our collaboration….
In July 2011 I went to Rome to attend rehearsals for this CD. It was a wonderful experience. PADS are a beautiful bunch of people. Each one of them is a highly gifted musician, fully devoted to my music. Working with PADS is a gift.
August 2011, Douwe Eisenga
The Dutch press on Douwe Eisenga:
Music for Wiek
VOLKSKRANT: “A magnificent ode to the cyclic movement"
NRC: “Fascinating, gradually whipping music”
Rose Road – City Lines
VOLKSKRANT: "Playful inventivity"
TROUW: "Colorful and sublime"
PZC: "Irresistible groove, mesmerizing"
NRC: "Enchanting requiem, strong music"
The Piano Files
Klasssieke Zaken : “Music with a generosity that has no borders”
Plato Mania: “Enchanting and inspiring”