A short lecture on the pleasure and importance of listening

Luisteren met
Micha Hamel

short lecture
4 PM

You are looking at a performance from our archive

What is the difference between 'hearing' and 'listening'? As a composer and poet, Micha Hamel is more dependent on hearing than anyone else. That's why he studied these questions, and much more, for his project Luistermutant (planned for Holland Festival 2021) - a performance that combines games with classical and contemporary music. He is now giving a short lecture on listening. Because: 'Listening is more fun, more difficult and more important than you think'.

Please note: in Dutch only


Micha Hamel (Amsterdam, 1970) is a composer, poet, and researcher. His concert music was performed by nearly all major Dutch orchestras and ensembles. In 2008, his tragic operetta Snow White

(Nederlandse Reisopera) toured the country to great acclaim. In June 2012, he was ‘Composer in focus' at the Holland Festival, for which he composed two full-evening works: a Requiem for our civilizational ideal and an interdisciplinary production inspired by the painting The Red Kimono by George Hendrik Breitner.

In 2014, his full-evening melodrama Een pure formaliteit (‘A Pure Formality’, theatre group Orkater) was well-received. His opera Caruso a Cuba (Dutch National Opera, 2019) was praised in both the national and international press. He published five volumes of poetry with the publisher AtlasContact. His latest collection of poems Toen het moest (2017) stood out with its unconventional typography and imaginative approach to language. He also makes poetic experiences for virtual reality in collaboration with the animation artist Demian Albers (studio Apvis, Breda). These installations are found at various festivals of technology, contemporary art, and literature, and draw a diverse audience.

Since 2010, Micha Hamel has served as 'Performance Practice’ lecturer at Codarts University for the Arts, Rotterdam, where he does research on new directional and necessary developments in the concert practice. The report of his first research project appeared under the title Speelruimte voor klassieke muziek in de 21ste eeuw (‘Playroom for classical music in the 21st Century’). He is currently researching whether video games are a suitable medium for getting audiences involved with classical music in a quality manner. This interdisciplinary project is called GAMPSISS and is a collaboration between Codarts, the TU Delft , the Erasmus University, and the Willem de Kooning Academy. Since 2015, Micha Hamel has been a member of the Akademie van Kunsten of the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), where he chairs the Arts and Science section.

Arlon Luijten studied at the Toneelacademie Maastricht and was granted the Hustinx award upon completing his studies. Luijten developed theatrical playing fields that bridge the world within and outside theatre and that combine elements from opera, theatre, amusement, mythology, serious gaming, technology, research, and education. He challenges audiences, citizens, artists, entrepreneurs, scientists, and the government to collaborate in these. As a director, Arlon Luijten makes layered, polymorphic, and conceptually constructed productions (musical theatre, opera, installations, and events) that are characterised by a grand theatricality and are full of spectacular show elements. In this way, he defies the idiom of so-called high and low culture and challenges various target groups in their viewing habits and experience. Arlon Luijten’s productions are consistently performed with new compositions and live music by a surprising combination of performers.

His work was produced by ALBA Theaterhuis, KORZO, Operadagen Rotterdam, Holland Opera, and Kameroperahuis. Between 2012-2016, Luijten created the urban opera PARSIFAL, playingfields for Operadagen Rotterdam with a game performance as a component. Luijten has since been doing research on interactivity and gamification as dramaturgical means of not only getting the audience to participate, but of making it complicit in the artwork as well. In 2018, Luijten founded Little Wotan, an urban laboratory in which he further explores and expands on this work and working method. Luijten is an instructor involved in various bachelor and master programs. He is also involved in GAMPSISS, a collaborative project between Codarts, WDKA, the TU Delft, and Erasmus University Rotterdam, in which he researches and develops 'Gameful Music Performances for Smart, Inclusive and Sustainable Societies'. Since 2016, Arlon Luijten has been a Dutch member of the European Cultural Parliament, in which he works on new international collaborations.

Composer Bram Kortekaas (Amsterdam, 1989) studied composition at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and political science at the University of Amsterdam and University of Copenhagen. In his compositions, he is inspired by current musical developments as well as social issues. For instance in Voetnoten bij de menselijke komedie: Mijmeringen van Arnon Grunberg, commissioned by NTR ZaterdagMatinee, he put Arnon Grunberg’s columns in de Volkskrant to music. Both the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Residentie Orkest performed this work with the Netherlands Radio Choir. Commissioned by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Kortekaas wrote Leonard Bernstein, Security Matter – C, a work for wind quintet and singer Carina Vinke about the political past of the American composer Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990).

Kortekaas’ orchestral music is characterised by its expressive characteristics and attention to orchestration. In 2015, he took the first prize in the Euregio Youth Orchestra Composition Contest with the composition The Pillars of Creation, inspired by the iconic photo from the Hubble telescope of the same name.  The composition The Dreamcatcher, commissioned by the Netherlands Student Orchestra, was one of two Dutch entries at The International Rostrum of Composers 2018. He has written other orchestral works commissioned by the Noordhollands Jeugdorkest, the Ricciotti Ensemble, the VU Orchestra, and the Nederlands Studenten Kamerorkest (Nesko). Foreign Body, written for the VU Orchestra, was on the music stand in 2014 during the Järvi International Academy for Conductors in Estonia. The Netherlands Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (December 2020) and the NJO (January 2021), among others, will be premiering new work by Kortekaas throughout the 2020/2021 season.