Wednesday 8 May
20.30 hours

Canto Ostinato

Speaker: InnerAct

Location: Gaslab

InnerAct is an audio visual performance based on the revolutionary musical piece of art Canto Ostinato.
Wouter Snoei (electronics) and Arnout Hulskamp (visuals) perform this show on various stages in The Netherlands. It’s a modern tribute to the most famous Dutch composer of minimal music, Simeon ten Holt.

The most remarkable aspect about Canto Ostinato is the amount of freedom that is given to the performer(s). The piece can be performed with different instruments and a different number of performers. Most commonly, it is played with either two or four pianos, but during the first performance in Bergen, North Holland in the Netherlands, the performers used three pianos and an electric organ.

Other aspects which illustrate this freedom can be found in how this piece has been built up. The composer created over a hundred small cells called 'sections' of a few bars, which can be played ad libitum and be repeated either one or very much more times (some bridges excepted).  Because of this build-up, performance may take from some two hours to more than a day.

The piece is regularly performed live in the Netherlands with changing players and instruments, ranging from those with four pianos or one or more different instruments, to those played by a solo musician. A couple of performances have taken place with the carillon of the Dom Tower of Utrecht. It has also been performed in several public spaces all around the Netherlands, such as the Groningen railway station.

Canto Ostinato is considered to be minimal in origin, because of the repetitive, obstinate, nature of the piece, but there is some discussion on this subject. Ten Holt usually uses the term 'genetic code' to describe his work, probably because of the typical build-up of the piece. As opposed to a high percentage of modern classical music which is not tonal and/or consonant, Canto Ostinato contains tonal harmonies and does not become (very) dissonant. Another typical aspect is the fact that one can hear the same or similar bass figures and harmonies throughout the piece, which explains the title. If one word would have to catch the essence of Canto Ostinato, one could use "meditative", as the different sections are similar, but generate different emotional reactions.

Tonight’s cross-over production is an audiovisual experience in which the three artists on stage interact with their instruments and self-developed software, changing lead in accordance with Cantos codes. Interaction and improvisation are central following the freedom the composer allowed for.
InnerAct links the composition to modern dance music.

Students: free. Others pay € 7.50

Please book your ticket(s)