Robert van Heumen Composer Improvisor Laptop-Instrumentalist Sound-Designer
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Shackle Affair: Organ

'Shackle Affair: Organ' is a composition for various organs, flute with electronics and laptop-instrument, performed by Dominik Blum and Shackle (Anne La Berge & Robert van Heumen). ’Shackle Affair: Organ’ is the next step in Shackle’s research project into restriction and structure in electro-acoustic improvisation. For this installment 10 new musical sections will be composed, each of which prescribes a way of playing the instruments or a limitation in sound material. During the concert these new sections will be presented to the players through the Shackle System. The players will have the option to cancel proposed sections or request new ones. ’Shackle Affair: Organ’ is developed with financial support from the Performing Arts Fund NL.

In the last couple of weeks I've been biking to Orgelpark a couple of times to prepare this work. For The First Law of Kipple I've done quite some work on the Sauer organ, but the other organs at Orgelpark were quite a mystery to me. Trevor Grahl showed me around some of them. My favorites: the small 'kistorgel' (chest organ?), with only 4 registers, but an amazing sound. Perfect for amplification, sampling, processing. The other fav is the Molzer organ, a little used old organ with a very characteristic sound. Both of these organs reside on the concert floor, so can easily be used together with the Sauer Organ console.

It was/is a challenge to find extra-musical sounds within these organs. Although the Sauer organ is the most technically advanced organ, the other two (kistorgel and Molzer) have more possibilities for extended techniques it seems.

Next week I'll be looking at amplification of these organs, testing live sampling and live processing. Then at the end of March I'll be working there with Nora Mulder and Anne La Berge to try out a first version of the piece. Looking very much forward to that!