Holland Festival Proms:
Electro Symphonic Orchestra

Colin Benders

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Colin Benders is looking for an alternative experience of electronic music. In the Recital Hall, he will present the first results of his research with an installation that can best be described as an electro-symphonic orchestra. His orchestra consists of modular synthesisers, each with its own sound and loudspeaker, spread across the stage, achieving a more spatial, transparent reproduction of electronic music, like that of a normal orchestra. The continuous performance is performed on a modular system, played by Colin Benders and a select group of musicians. Ahead of the world premiere of a larger composition in 2019, Benders works with a smaller version of his orchestra at the Holland Festival Proms this year. The system is capable of generating its own musical choices. During this nine-hour marathon session, Benders can investigate the unprecedented musical spectrum of this electro-symphonic orchestra, thereby blurring the boundaries between acoustic and electronic music. The audience will be able to come and go all day.

background information

After the success of The Kyteman Orchestra, the multi-instrumentalist and composer Colin Benders (1986) shifted his focus to the modular synthesiser. In the hands of the right composer this 

electronic instrument can perform musical wonders with its innumerable knobs, sliders, wires and sounds. Colin Benders is this composer. He does not simply want to make electronic music with his Electro Symphonic Orchestra. Benders wants to make electronic music with the transparency, dynamism and expressiveness of a classical symphonic orchestra. His ultimate goal is to create an orchestra consisting of more than fifty modular synthesisers spatially distributed like a 'normal' acoustic orchestra, with each synthesiser producing its own sound and timbre. Each synthesiser part generates its own source of sound. Some of these parts are played by a musician, others can be directed by Benders, who 'conducts' the orchestra from a central desk.

Benders has composed a full-length piece especially for this orchestra which utilises the full potential of the electro-symphonic orchestra. To achieve this ambitious project Benders has devoted much time to research, rehearsal and improvisation, often in his own studio paradise, Kytopia in Utrecht. He did solo techno sessions with his modular synth at Lowlands and the Amsterdam Dance Event. This year for the first time he is presenting his Electro Symphonic Orchestra in a chamber format to the audience at the Holland Festival Proms.

In the Recital Hall of the Concertgebouw the audience will be able to see and hear how Benders blurs the boundaries between acoustic and electronic music. For a whole afternoon and evening he will improvise with the instruments in different arrangements. The music will consist of elements generated by the system itself combined with elements that are played live. The special arrangement and way of playing the instruments means that the Electro Symphonic Orchestracould also be regarded as a sound installation. The audience will be able to come and go.

The Electro Symphonic Orchestra is Benders' debut at the Holland Festival. He will present his synthesiser orchestra at full strength at the 2019 Holland Festival.



Colin Benders (1986), formerly known as Kyteman, is a Dutch composer and multi-instrumentalist. He studied trumpet at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and was taught by Eric Vloeimans,

among others. His debut album The Hermit Sessions, in which he played all the parts, was released in 2009. He went on tour with Kyteman's HipHop Orchestra. The orchestra's name was later changed to The Kyteman Orchestra, which was also the name of his second album. Benders and his orchestra played several times at the Oerol festival, North Sea Jazz, Lowlands and Pinkpop. The orchestra won the 2009 Buma Cultuur Pop Award. Benders has played and toured with Relax, Krezip, Voicst, Wouter Hamel, C-mon & Kypski and Sting, among others. He released the album Kytecrash with Eric Vloeimans in 2011. In 2014 he opened Kytopia, in the former Tivoli building in Utrecht. Since then he has been his own name and has worked from this studio, which he shares with like-minded people, on a new oeuvre centred on the modular synthesiser. His website streams long nocturnal jam sessions. He has performed at various dance festivals, together with T. Raumschmiere among others. Currently he is working on his Electro Symphonic Orchestra, an orchestra consisting solely of synthesisers, with which he will perform at the Holland Festival Proms for the first time.



concept and realisation
Colin Benders

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