Rope Dance: Light-Footed Music for None and All

As a result of the 2016 North Sea Composition Assignment, I decided to write a 75 minute suite for bassoon, drums, bass, piano and (bass)clarinet. I wanted to combine this music with something else: philosophy. The field of philosophy is simply too vast to fit into one composition, so I killed my darlings and put all my money on one thing: Friedrich Nietzsche’s notion of the dance and the rope dancer in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. In this suite, I use projections with Nietzsche quotes, and here and there I try to explain a few things myself.

For Nietzsche, the dance stands for freedom and loosing your self-consciousness. It stands for a suspension of old habits and thoughts, and not getting stuck with them. We need to dance in order to ‘become who we are’. We should dance when we play music, but also when we write, when we think, when we speak, etcetera. A rope dancer stands for a person that is not afraid to go different places and to take risks. His feet are light: he loves the unknown and the distant future, and he loves his fate.

Rope Dance features Bram van Sambeek (bassoon), Martijn Vink (drums), Clemens van der Feen (bass), Bram de Looze (piano) and myself ((bass) clarinet/compositions).

Layout slides: Lucas van Eck