On the 1st of January, I started a new two-year research project at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp: "HPSCHD: New music for the harpsichord".
On Monday 17 December I participate in the festival "Experiments are more refreshing than new socks" (an initiative of the CREATIE research group of the Antwerp Conservatoire).
Iradj Sahbai (1945) is a French-Iranian composer and conductor who studied in Tehran, Strasburg and Paris. His oeuvre reveals a great attraction to and evocation of Iranian culture, and combines lively rhythms with vocal expressionism, in search of color. He finds inspiration in the modes of traditional Persian music and their microtonal inflections, as well as in the poetry of modern and classical Persian writers.
In the "EMRUZ | Iradj Sahbai" session, students and researchers of the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp present solo and chamber works of his (Belgian premieres) and new harpsichord music by Idin Samimi Mofakham. It is the concluding event of my research project "EMRUZ | TODAY: New music from Iran and the Iranian diaspora".
On the 26th of October I will give a lecture-recital on new Iranian music for the harpsichord!
"A new sound in Iranian music"
The harpsichord is little known in Iran; the instruments can be counted on one hand and European early music performances are very rare. In a lecture-recital, Liselotte Sels presents new work for harpsichord solo and harpsichord and soprano, written especially for this project by Iranian composers. The recital is a part of research project "EMRUZ | TODAY - New music from Iran and the Iranian diaspora ", which seeks to map out the current developments within the field of Iranian new music, and to strengthen the musical bond and interaction between Iran and Belgium. The commissions for harpsichord pieces could create an opening to new pathways for Iranian composers, and offer alternative perspectives on intercultural collaboration. The harpsichord goes beyond its familiar contexts of the Western early and new music scenes.
I'm participating in an exciting historical piano summer academy at Orpheus Institute in Ghent, from 2-12 July, directed by Tom Beghin (Orpheus Institute and McGill University) and Erin Helyard (Melbourne University). The ten-day course has two components: our own artistic research project, as it relates to any of the historical pianos available, and a collective Concours révolutionnaire around the 1803 Erard piano.
Éloïse Mabille and I are invited to give a concert for the delegates of the international James Joyce symposium in Antwerp, in the great Museum Vleeshuis. The musical programme will be very diverse and present different aspects of the musical universe associated with James Joyce's work. It is an intriguing mix of works cited in Joyce's oeuvre, music that the author liked, and music that takes his works as inspiration. Joyce’s preference for Elizabethan music, opera, Henry Purcell, Don Giovanni, and singable Irish music is known. The beautiful Museum Vleeshuis makes its rich collection of musical instruments available for this unusual concert, that will be performed on the Dulcken harpsichord from 1747, the Graf fortepiano from 1826, and the Günther grand piano from 1903.
On the 25th of April, during a symposium on Iranian contemporary art & culture, I will perform new music for harpsichord by Iranian composers: "Let's not soil the water" (with soprano) by Reza Nakisa, "Blue Johannes" (harpsichord version) by Reza Vali, and Iranian folk songs by Iradj Sahbai. Place to be: deSingel, Antwerp, from 14:00-18:00