Rope Dance: Light-Footed Music for All and None

As a result of the 2016 North Sea Composition Assignment, I wrote a 75 minute suite for bassoon, drums, bass, piano and clarinets. I wanted to combine this music with 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.

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, think, 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 – 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 (clarinets/compositions).

Graphic design of the slides: Lucas van Eck