You might know Bryce Dessner for his moving work as guitarist and composer for rock outfit The National, but his career as an independent ‘classical’ composer is developing rapidly. The classical path brought Dessner together with icons such as Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Nico Muhly and Caroline Shaw, but also with pop phenomena in the likes of Bon Iver, Paul Simon and Sufjan Stevens. This Birds of Paradise performance will mark the first-ever programme bringing together three of his concerto’s: Trombone Concerto, St. Carolyn by the Sea and Concerto for two pianos. The event concludes with the world premiere of a suite from the Complete Mountain Almanac: a song cycle from Norwegian composer Rebekka Karijord for whom Jessica Dessner wrote the lyrics and Bryce orchestrated the arrangements. .
Dessner will play guitar during this night, for St. Carolyn by the Sea, master of trombone Jorgen van Reijen for the Trombone Concerto and the world-famous piano duo Katia and Marielle Labeque for Concerto for two pianos. Rebekka Karijord and the French singer-songwriter Pauline de Lasssus will join on vocals for Complete Mountain Almanak. The Belgian Casco Phil is their solid orchestral partner tonight.
Neil Wallace talks with composer Bryce Dessner, composer Rebekka Karijord and lyricist Jessica Dessner about the making of the music and the album Complete Mountain Almanac.
Exhibition Jessica Dessner: Complete Mountain Almanac Drawings
In addition to writing the lyrics, visual artist Jessica Dessner was also responsible for the artwork of Complete Mountain Almanac. The basis for this are drawings of trees, which she made daily while writing. A selection of those drawings will be on display in this exhibition.
Dessner – Trombone Concerto
Dessner – St. Carolyn by the Sea
Dessner – Concerto for two piano’s
Karijord/Dessner – Complete Mountain Almanac (world première)
Benjamin Haemhouts, conductor
Bryce Dessner, guitar
David Chalmin, guitar
Jörgen van Rijen, trombone
Katia & Marielle Labeque, piano
Rebekka Karijord, vocals
Pauline de Lassus, vocals
Jessica Dessner, lyrics
A co-production with B-Classic (B), Casco Phil (B) en De Singel (B)
Rotterdam-born singer-songwriter Tessa Douwstra aka Luwten found her way to bigger stages in the Netherlands with impeccably crafted, moving songs on the intersection of pop, indie, electronic and R&B. Her latest album Draft (2021) received national praise and won a 3voor12 Award for best album of the year. And after that, things only got bigger for Luwten, who never loses her will to experiment and pushes forward while keeping her art touching to the core. For this special concert, Luwten is collaborating with the Belgian Baroque Orchestration X (B.O.X), who previously collaborated with acts such as Efterklang, Eefje de Visser, Shara Nova (My Brightest Diamond), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) and Spinvis. Expect chamber pop by an 11-person (baroque) orchestra with new music and classics by Luwten in delicate arrangements.
Like every headliner on Birds of Paradise, Luwten puts together a highly personal context program for her Artist Room, which she has given as the theme Beginnings.To begin with, she invites la loye: the unconditionally loving indie folk project by Lieke Heusinkveld. With her whispering vocals and dark guitar playing reminiscent of Big Thief and The National, she knows how to enchant audiences. The evening will be opened by live soundscapes by photographer and musician Laura Kampman. Laura transformed capturing moments in photos to capturing them in sound recordings. On her phone she records environments, everyday sounds, conversations and songs that she will intertwine into an intriguing sound collage with the help of Luwten’s input. Writer Bregje Hofstede is commissioned to write an Ode to Beginnings for this occasion: a short essay that she will also read at the beginning of the concert. “Bregje Hofstede has had the courage to start over several times. I read her books and papers avidly: I felt encouraged and human as I turned the pages.” says Tessa Douwstra.
A co-production with B-Classic (B) and B.O.X (B)
The American band Son Lux combines electropop, chamber music, post-rock, hip-hop beats and a good dose of experimental drive into a unique and layered avant-pop sound. You could also see Son Lux as a sound laboratory in which music is deconstructed down to the molecule and then reassembled with surprising rhythms, orchestral arrangements and idiosyncratic sounds. Live, this leads to a mesmerizing experience. All led by Ryan Lott, who started Son Lux in 2008 as a solo project and expanded the project into a trio in 2014. The concept ‘album’ is also interpreted in its own way by Son Lux: the trilogy Tomorrows was released in 2020 and 2021, in 2022 the 49-track soundtrack of the film Everything Everywhere All At Once!
Ryan Lott has also regularly contributed to tracks and releases by Brooklyn-based Holland Andrews in recent years. Rules, featuring Nils Frahm is Andrew’s most recent single, out on Frahm’s own record label LEITER. Andrews composes, produces, plays clarinet and has a unique vocal technique: from grunt to classical vocals and everything in between.
The hit film Everything, everywhere all at once has been nominated for no less than 11 Oscars. Two of them are in the name of Son Lux! In the category Best Original Score and Best Original Song for This is a life, which the band recorded with Mitski and David Byrne. A conversation with the band about the making of the film music.
Everything, everywhere all at once will be screened once again on Saturday afternoon 18 March in collaboration with Louis Hartlooper Complex. With a ticket for the concert you can go to the film screening in Louis Hartlooper Complex with € 4,00 discount. Tickets are available through Louis Hartlooper Complex.
The Belgian theatre director Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe will be looking for a unique match between electronic and contemporary classical music together with Icelandic producer/composer Valgeir Sigurdsson (Bedroom Community). In a world full of turbulence and (white) noise, these artists will try to reclaim and revalue the art of listening, creating space for contemplation, silence, and wondrous new compositions. These elements are all reflected in a 60-minute song cycle and interwoven soundscapes:written jointly by the artists during their stay in Reykjavik and Antwerp.
The duo will be accompanied by violinist Elisabeth Klinck, a rapidly emerging artist from Brussels, primarily known as a solo performer playing both electronics and solo violin.
Joseph Kamaru aka KMRU, sound artist and producer from Nairobi, opens with an ambient set. About Epoch, his latest album (2022) that he made inbetween tours with Fennesz and Big Thief, he says: “I hope the album brings some desire to slow things down.”
Often we listen without hearing, we think we already know what something sounds like and lose interest. However, when we listen carefully, there often turns out to be much more than initially expected. Inspired by Japanese listening bars, Birds of Paradise presents an in-depth listening experience in collaboration with De Luisterbar, in which we leave our fast-paced world for what it is.
Host Milan van Keulen talks with Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe and Valgeir Sigurdsson about The art of listening. They take you into their musical world with stories and contexts. What fascinates them? What influenced them? What makes that one record so special? You don’t have to understand anything, see anything, search for anything. All you have to do is just listen, with an open mind.
In collaboration with Stadsschouwburg Utrecht and De Luisterbar
A co-production with B-Classic (B), Arctic Arts Festival (N) and Northern Lights Festival (N)
Combining polyrhythmic layered electronics with contemporary classical percussion, Jlin has been a whirlwind of innovation in the musical landscape throughout the past years. But Jerilynn Patton never struts too far away from organic, classical sounds: that’s why the Dutch Ragazze Quartet and the Grammy-winning, Chicago-based percussion outfit Third Coast Percussion bring Jlin’s tracks to the world of chamber music. First, the Ragazze Quartet will perform Little Black Book, originally commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, followed by the world premiere of Jlin’s Summon for string quartet and percussion.
After that, Third Coast Percussion will perform a 7-piece suite entitled Perspective. The composer herself can be heard in the grand finale of the event: a live set featuring selected works from Akoma (The heart): a performative installation she will craft together with visual artist Florence To.
The American electronics pioneer is currently entering the ‘art world’. For example, Jlin’s work was featured last year at the Venice Biennale and she recently laid the foundation for her new album Akoma at the illustrious The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), one of the world’s most renowned centers for the creation of contemporary art that appeals to the imagination. Composer Remy Alexander talks to Jlin about her music and tonight’s program.
How beautiful they were: our Birds of Paradise 2023! This is for those who were there or wanted to be there...
Talk Jlin: on Sunday, March 19, 7:30 PM, American producer Jlin will talk to Remy Alexander about her music// Read more
Today we are launching the first full Artist Room 2023.// Read more
Due to a date conflict, Son Lux had to adjust its March tour.// Read more
Please welcome a new flock of birds for our second installment!// Read more
Line-up will be announced soon// Read more
Nomen est omen: in fact our Mees Joachim is the only permanent resident of the Birds of Paradise nest.// Read more
Looking back at out very first edition, we can proudly say that during these five days of sonic enchantment, these birds dared to fly and leave the comfort of the nest.// Read more
Welcome to the mechanic, wondrous universe of Actress, where analog meets digital, and orchestrated meets improvised and coincidental.// Read more
Actress feat. MILYMA, It’s hard to pin down Darren Cunningham: every move the musician makes as Actress is a completely unexpected one. Whether he changes timbre and colour completely, or reaches heights of a satellite in just a whim: the Briton always proves to be prolific in delivering innovative sonical work.// Read more
From 9.-13. March five Birds of Paradise will land in TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht. At Birds of Paradise Festival, five renowned multi-disciplinary artists are offered a residency for one day. During their residency, they get a free pass for creating exclusive, tailor-made performances, start new collaborations and curate an extensive context programme: both off and online. Expect blends of genres and disciplines, profound musical and theatrical experiences at the verge of indie pop, EDM and contemporary classical music.// Read more
The shell is broken, the beak is open. Hungry for new experiences, fresh tastes and flights to unfamiliar territories: the birds are ready to fly out. Unknown colours, aesthetically pleasing combinations and new ways of singing: these features make our Birds of Paradise unique. Expect genre and discipline fluidity, exclusive one-off performances and in-depth music experiences: both live and online.// Read more
Birds of Paradise is a 4 day festival, annually taking place in Utrecht (TivoliVredenburg) and Antwerp (De Singel) in which indie pop, electronic and contemporary classical music blend. Internationally, a vibrant scene of genre bending composers, singer-songwriters, electronic artists, ‘classical musicians’ emerges. Birds of Paradise provides a platform for these artists who get their inspiration on the verge of undiscovered artistic territories, genres and disciplines.
At Birds of Paradise festival, five renowned multi-disciplinary artists are offered a residency for one day. Each day is dedicated to one particular musical innovator: a Bird of Paradise, so to speak. During their residency, they get a free pass for creating exclusive, tailor-made performances, start new collaborations and curate an extensive context programme: both off and online. Their very own musical skills, unique style and connection to socially urgent topics form the basis of the context programme, which will offer audiences the stories behind the works and many in-depth experiences.
Music Miners is het educatieprogramma van Birds of Paradise. In Music Miners maken leerlingen kennis met verschillende nieuwe genres, presentaties van muziek en een ‘andere’ manier om naar muziek te luisteren. In het programma ontdekken leerlingen als ‘miners’ (muziekdelvers) vernieuwende muziek door een reeks korte concerten op ongebruikelijke plekken in de concertzaal te beleven. Aansluitend volgt een workshop. Het ontwikkelde educatiemateriaal is geschikt voor bovenbouwleerlingen in de richtingen vmbo-T, havo, vwo en gymnasium. Het materiaal is zo ontworpen dat het bestaat uit een receptief, actief en reflectief onderdeel en kan in overleg aangepast worden aan een specifieke doelgroep of groepsgrootte.
Music Miners sluit aan bij de vakken CKV en Muziek. We hanteren maximale leerlingenaantallen in verband met de intimiteit van de concerten en benodigde focus tijdens de workshops. Tijdens de concerten is er ruimte voor uitwisseling tussen leerling en artiest.
Music Miners is in verschillende settings beschikbaar. Keuze en planning van artiesten in overleg met programmamanager Remy Alexander: firstname.lastname@example.org
For all questions, comments, suggestions and (constructive) comments: email@example.com
Communication, marcom: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave Coenen), email@example.com (Renée Veenstra)
Press: firstname.lastname@example.org (Johan Kloosterboer)
Production: email@example.com (Jessica Dassen)
Music Miners: firstname.lastname@example.org (Remy Alexander en Margriet Broekroelofs)
Address: Gezellestraat 36
5615 HL Eindhoven
IBAN: NL84 RABO0129508578
BTW: NL 8225.10.972.B01
The Birds of Paradise Foundation is a charitable organisation registered under Dutch law. Audited accounts for 2021 can be found here.
Frank Veenstra, Artistic and Managing director
Arthur van der Drift, chair
Ester Louwers, treasurer
Rian Brus, secretary
Lucas Maassen, member
Birds of Paradise wants to offer a state of the art international platform on the verge of indie pop music, EDM and contemporary classical music with all sorts of connections to other progressive (stage) disciplines and genres for the benefit of: