Birds of Paradise presents the Dutch premiere of José Gonzalez' latest project A Tiger in Paradise.// Read more
After the already announced concert in the Stevenskerk Nijmegen (15. July), our own festival production with LUWTEN x B.O.X is also booked on September 15 in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.// Read more
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)
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:
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)
“I feel like Laura Kampman has a sixth sense for intimacy. Creating soundscapes from telephone recordings she creates a space homely and vulnerable, making sound a texture and the inside of your head like someone else’s living room.”
Tessa Douwstra (aka LUWTEN)
Laura Kampman: Roof of Air, a sound project/label focused on phone recordings
Tessa Douwstra aka LUWTEN invited writer Bregje Hofstede to write a short essay on the theme of the beginning. This essay, titled At the beginning, will also be read by Bregje Hofstede at the beginning of the concert.
“Bregje Hofstede has had the courage to begin again several times. I read her books and pieces eagerly: feeling encouraged and humanlike as I flipped pages. She will write and read an ode to beginnings.”
Tessa Douwstra (aka LUWTEN)
The first time I saw him dance. A very ordinary boy, really, in a T-shirt and glasses, but it was his hands that caught my eye. Big hands. He stretched and curled his fingers, pulsing them to the music. His hands swam like jellyfish through the night.
I took him to my hotel. In those days I often took someone with me, I was adrift after a long relationship. I told the people I met not to fall in love with me, because I really didn’t have room for that; and, if that had proved irresistible after a few weeks, I said: I should have warned you.
The next morning we said our crumpled goodbyes on the doorstep of my hotel. Only at the station did I discover that I had forgotten my ID card.
I jumped on a tram that would take me back, and as it drove through Amsterdam, I called the desk to ask if they had found anything. The man across from me listened in. He wore an orange cap and a bag from Boni, and had craters in his cheeks.
Were you alone in that hotel? he asked when I had hung up.
No, I said, with a friend.
Then where is he? If he’s not with you, he’s not a friend.Tell me, did you do naughty things in that hotel? Did you let yourself be used?
None of your business.
Or are you still a virgin? She’s still a virgin! he yelled through the tram.
It was May. Everywhere the elm seed flickered, covering the canals like a yellow carpet. We stopped at Dam Square, the doors opened, the wind blew in a cloud of elm seeds.
In the hotel I found my ID card on the bedside table. Before I left, I took a sniff at the sheets to remember what it smelled like. That was the moment I knew: this is a start. And right away: this is going to hurt. A beginning only bears that name if there is a middle and an end.
A third love, or a fourth, is different from the first because it takes more effort to believe in forever, or for a very long time.
The more you start, the more each beginning loses what makes it addictive: the promise of longevity, of depth, of endless detail sprung from what is now almost weightless in the hand. Each subsequent beginning is more of a repetition, each new thing is less new. The more you start, the more the beginning loses what characterizes it.
The boy with the dancing hands and I moved together to a village in France. He was a city boy and was now focussing on gardening, which was new to him. In our first winter, the window sills and the table were already full of row after row of cardboard germination trays. Radish, carrot, pumpkin, tomato, cucumber, salad, although we didn’t see the difference when they came up, because the starting leaves are the same on every sprout: two green ovals. Only after a certain time does the differences come in: then serrated or round, smooth or hairy leaves unfold, large, small, green, veined purple-red.
After the last frost we would set everything out in our garden, which ran up the hill behind the house.
At the very top was a soggy spot, where I put a shovel in the wet ground one February afternoon. I scooped up a mouthful of dirt and the hole I left was immediately filled with water. The more I shoveled, the faster the water bubbled up from the bottom. Soon it poured over my boots.
I dug and I forgot why, I dug and I forgot time. After a few hours, the water splashed down through the vegetable garden and formed a pool under the apple tree. The sky was goldfish orange. Somewhere above me a thrush sang. My overalls tightened around the baby in my stomach. I leaned on the shovel, the colors and the sounds and the warm pounding of my blood seemed inextricably linked, they woven a net that carried me. I floated. A moment that lasted until the thought: I’m probably never going to be as happy here as I am now.
With that thought, the middle began.
We would stay in France until I finished a book, and for those first few months it was the most beautiful book you’ve ever read. In those first months it was still the book I wanted to write, and not the book I could write, with my idiosyncrasies and limitations.
It is only in growth and duration that something becomes characteristic. Own, interesting, and only then does it become difficult.
I’m in the middle of it. Every now and then I start all over again, or so I think, but more and more I just seem to have taken myself with me. Every newly opened document takes root in previously written words. With my new lover I have old quarrels.
I know I have to continue on the path I’m on. That in my writing I must seek the extreme consequences, the greatest individuality. That I learn more when I stay with someone not up to, but beyond the tough parts.
But I remain sensitive to the beginning. I can’t pass a chestnut in autumn without picking it up: a folded tree. The promise of something towering, to put in your pocket. The possibilities without the weight.
“Lieke Heusinkveld is a songwriter I admire greatly. She’s so good at describing what is going on inside us and her melodies and quietness obey you to listen without asking.”
Tessa Douwstra (aka LUWTEN)
Nothing is without an end
Everybody is dying to begin again
“Four days before spring, LUWTEN celebrates beginnings. The innumerable possibilities, the endless sea of second chances. The hope that comes with the not knowing, just the “what” not yet the “how”. March is for sowing seeds. The only way to start is to begin.”
Tessa Douwstra (aka LUWTEN)