MAZE Festival 2017


Amsterdam-based ensemble MAZE is dedicated to performing music that challenges the idea of fixed form and a fixed listening perspective. Following previous collaborations with Robert Ashley, Christian Marclay, Annea Lockwood and Michael Pisaro, MAZE now presents a festival dedicated to sonic textures and field recordings.

MAZE’s guests are Okkyung Lee, the leading cellist from the New York improvised scene, originally from Korea and the Irish composer Barbara Ellison, who lives in the Netherlands. MAZE will also perform the whale song inspired Quasimodo by Alvin Lucier (USA), Jitterbug, a portrait of a fictive natural environment by field recording pioneer Annea Lockwood (NZ/USA), a live-streamed interactive work by Rebekah Wilson (NZ) and Wind Horse by the recently deceased founder of Deep Listening, Pauline Oliveros (USA). The evening will include the presentation of the recently released Unsounds LP, RAW, a piece composed for MAZE by Anne La Berge.

MAZE FESTIVAL 2017 is a collaboration between Splendor and The BIMHUIS with funding support from Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst and Het Fonds Podiumkunsten.


20:30 concert

  • Annea Lockwood – Jitterbug
  • Alvin Lucier – Quasimodo (1970)
  • Rebekah Wilson – Music for Two Strings
  • Pauline Oliveros – Wind Horse
  • Yannis Kyriakides – Trench Code
  • Anne La Berge – an interview hosted by Unsounds and Sven Schlijper-Karssenberg for the release of her new album RAW.


20:30 concert

  • Okkyung Lee – new piece for MAZE
  • Jacob Kirkegaard – CHURCH
  • Anne La Berge – Assail (world premiere)
  • Barbara Ellison – Instrumental Phantoms //20 (world premiere, composed for Maze)


  • Splendor: €15 / €12,50 (members, CJP) / €5 (students)
  • Bimhuis: €18 / €15 (CJP, student card, stadspas)


Barbara Ellison is a composer and visual artist living and working in The Hague. She moves playfully between composing, making films, installations, sculpture, drawings and live performance. With a strong interest in ritual and ritualisation, her performances often play with forms giving rise to sonic structures emerging through a hypnotic repetitious exploration of apparently simple sound-producing actions. She avidly explores the turbulent waters of repetition, obsession and intensity, as well as the untamed sonic creatures that lurk in that enticing realm.

She is active in the music and art scene of The Netherlands with her solo work and collaborative collectives Trickster and composer collective Female Effects and has traveled and performed internationally as a solo artist. She has also undertaken field recording expeditions all over the world – such as Baffin Island, Nunavut, Arctic (2010), Amazon, Brazil (2011), Svaneti, Georgia (2012), Iceland and Australia (2013), Chile and Bolivia (2015) and Himalayas (Mustang, Nepal (2016). She has a PhD from the University of Huddersfield, UK (‘Sonic Phantoms’) and co-ordinates and teaches the Sonology Education minor programme (Loco-Lab) at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. She co-ordinates and co-produces the Sonic Mmabolela artists residency and workshop with Francisco López, in South Africa.

Okkyung Lee, a New York-based artist and South Korea native, has created a body of work blurring genre boundaries through collaborations and compositions while pushing the limitation of contemporary cello performance techniques. Her music draws from noise and extended techniques, jazz, Western classical, and Korean traditional and popular music. Since moving to New York in 2000, She has released more than 20 albums including the latest solo record Ghil produced by Lasse Marhaug on Editions Mego/Ideologic Organ, and Noisy Love Songs (for George Dyer) on Tzadik.

She has performed and recorded with numerous artists from wide ranges such as Laurie Anderson, David Behrman, Mark Fell, Douglas Gordon, Jenny Hval, Vijay Iyer, Christian Marclay, Ikue Mori, to name just a few. Since 2010, she has been developing a site-specific duo project with New York based dancer/choreographer Michelle Boulé. She opened for the legendary experimental rock group Swans in May, 2015 in Northern Europe and UK. In early 2015, Okkyung presented new compositions commissioned by London Sinfonietta as a part of Christian Marclay’s exhibit at White Cube Gallery in London.

Okkyung was rewarded with prestigious Doris Duke Performing Artist Award in 2015 and received Foundation For Contemporary Arts Grant in 2010. She received a dual bachelor’s degree in Contemporary Writing & Production and Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music in 1998 and a master’s degree in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory of Music in 2000.

Jacob Kirkegaard (Denmark 1975) is an artist and composer who works in carefully selected environments to generate recordings that are used in compositions, or combined with video imagery in visual, spatial installations. His works reveal unheard sonic phenomena and present listening as a means of experiencing the world. Kirkegaard has recorded sonic environments as different as subterranean geyser vibrations, empty rooms in Chernobyl, Arctic calving glaciers and tones generated by the human inner ear itself.

One of contemporary sound art’s most subtle, intriguing figures. More artistically minded than field recordings, more naturally hewn than noise tapes, Kirkegaard amplifies hidden worlds into evocative drifts.
Rolling Stone, December 2015

Kirkegaard has countered Duchamp’s dictum, “One can look at seeing, one can’t hear hearing.
Douglas Kahn, Earside Out, 2014.

For all the scientific rigour to Kirkegaard’s research into the sonic possibilities of various materials, his work reveals an underlying fascination for the mysteries and myths embedded in them. His work channels an access to an inner world.
Anne Hilde Neset, The Wire, 2009.

Annea Lockwood is known for her explorations of the rich world of natural acoustic sounds and environments, in works ranging from sound art and installations, through text-sound and performance art to concert music. Her music has been performed in many venues and festivals including: the Possibility of Action exhibition at MACBA Barcelona, De Ijsbreker, the Other Minds Festival-San Francisco, the Walker Art Center, the American Century: 1950 – 2000 exhibition at the Whitney Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Westdeutscher Rundfunk, CNMAT Berkeley, the Asia-Pacific Festival, Donaufest 2006 Ulm, the Donau Festival Krems, the 7th Totally Huge New Music Festival Perth, Ear To The Earth Festival – New York and Sonic Acts XIII.

Her sound installation, A Sound Map of the Danube, has been presented in Germany, Austria and the USA. This is a “surround sound map” of the entire Danube River, incorporating a wide variety of water, animal and underwater insect sounds, rocks from the riverbed and the voices of those whose lives are intimately connected to the river.

Other recent projects include Ceci n’est pas un Piano, for piano, video and electronics commissioned by Jennifer Hymer; Jitterbug, commissioned by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, a six channel soundscape with two improvising musicians; and In Our Name, a collaboration with Thomas Buckner based on poems by prisoners in Guantánamo. She was a recipient of the 2007 Henry Cowell Award. Her music has been issued on CD and online on the Lovely Music, Ambitus, EM, XI, Rattle, Lorelt, and Pogus labels.

Pauline Oliveros was a senior figure in contemporary American music. Her career spanned more than fifty years of boundary dissolving music making. In the 50s she was part of a circle of iconoclastic composers, artists, poets gathered together in San Francisco. She was awarded the John Cage award for 2012 from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts and was Distinguished Research Professor of Music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, and Darius Milhaud Artist-in-Residence at Mills College. Oliveros was as passionate in her quest to find new sounds as she was in finding new uses for old ones – her primary instrument was the accordion, an unexpected visitor perhaps to musical cutting edge, but one which she approached in much the same way that a Zen musician might approach the Japanese shakuhachi.

Pauline Oliveros’ life as a composer, performer and humanitarian was about opening her own and others’ sensibilities to the universe and facets of sounds. Since the 1960s she influenced American music profoundly through her work with improvisation, meditation, electronic music, myth and ritual.

Pauline Oliveros is the founder of “Deep Listening”, which comes from her childhood fascination with sounds and from her works in concert music with composition, improvisation and electro-acoustics. Pauline Oliveros described Deep Listening as a way of listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what you are doing. Such intense listening includes the sounds of daily life, of nature, of one’s own thoughts as well as musical sounds. Deep Listening is my life practice, she explained. Oliveros was founder of Deep Listening Institute, formerly Pauline Oliveros Foundation, now the Center For Deep Listening at Rensselaer.

Alvin Lucier was born in 1931 in Nashua, New Hampshire. He was educated in Nashua public and parochial schools, the Portsmouth Abbey School, Yale, and Brandeis and spent two years in Rome on a Fulbright Scholarship. From 1962 to 1970 he taught at Brandeis, where he conducted the Brandeis University Chamber Chorus, which devoted much of its time to the performance of new music. In 1966, along with Robert Ashley, David Behrman and Gordon Mumma, he co-founded the Sonic Arts Union. From 1968 to 2011 he taught at Wesleyan University where he was John Spencer Camp Professor of Music.

Lucier lectures and performs extensively in Asia, Europe and The United States. He has collaborated with John Ashbury (Theme) and Robert Wilson (Skin, Meat, Bone). His recent sound installation, 6 Resonant Points Along a Curved Wall, accompanied Sol DeWitt’s enormous sculpture, Curved Wall, in Graz, Austria, and in the Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University in January 2005. Recent instrumental works include Coda Variations for 6-valve solo tuba; Twonings for cello and piano; Canon, commissioned by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and Music with Missing Parts, a re-orchestration of Mozart’s Requiem, premiered at the Mozarteum, Salzburg in December 2007. In October 2012 Two Circles, a chamber work, commissioned by The Venice Biennale, was premiered there by the Alter Ego Ensemble and in December 2013 a new work, December 12th, was performed by the Ensemble Pamplemousse at the Issue Project Room, Brooklyn and Firewood, performed in March 2014 by the Bang on a Can All Stars at Merkin Hall, New York. Lucier has recently completed two new chamber works: Orpheus Variations for solo cello and seven wind instruments and Hanover for violin, alto and tenor saxophones, piano, percussion and three banjos. In October 2014 Lucier was honoured by a three-day festival of his works at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Reflections/Reflexionen, a bi-lingual edition of Lucier’s scores, interviews and writings was published by MusikTexte, Köln. In September 2012 the Wesleyan Press published Lucier’s latest book, Music 109: Notes on Experimental Music. In 2013 New World Records released a recording of three of Lucier’s orchestra works.

Alvin Lucier was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States and received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Plymouth, England. In November 2011 Wesleyan University celebrated Alvin Lucier’s retirement with a three-day festival of his works.

Rebekah Wilson obtained a degree in Musical Composition at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand in 1996. Working as an independent composer, electronic musician, installation artist and filmmaker Rebekah Wilson has performed and lectured in many venues and festivals. Earlier this century she held the position of Artistic Co-Director at STEIM (Studio for Electronic and Instrumental Music), where she curated and participated in international festivals, workshops and education programs for live electronic and instrumental music, installations and film. She is currently living between Barcelona and New Zealand and next to running her business she has taken up surfing.

Yannis Kyriakides. As a composer and sound artist Kyriakides looks for ways of creating new forms and hybrids of media that problematise the act of listening. The question as to what music is actually communicating is a recurring theme in his work and he is often drawn to the relation between perception, emotion and language and how that defines our experience of sound. In the last years his work has been exploring different relations between words and music, both in concert compositions and installations through the use of systems of encoding information into sound, synthesising voices and projecting text to music. The latter work has led to about 20 music text films that play on the idea of imagined or inner voice.

He has written over a hundred compositions, comprising mostly of music theatre, multimedia and electroacoustic works for chamber groups and large ensembles. His work has been performed worldwide at many of the prominent music festivals, and by many leading contemporary music ensembles. His opera an ocean of rain, opened the Aldeburgh Music Festival in 2008. He has been featured composer at both Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2007 and November Music 2011 (NL). Recently his sound installation work has been receiving more exposure and he contributed two works for the the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2011.

In 2000 he won the International Gaudeamus Composition prize for his composition a conSPIracy cantata. The CD Wordless, received an honorary mention in the Prix Ars Electronica 2006, and his recent CD, Antichamber won a 2011 French Qwartz Electronic music award. Other prizes include the Dutch Toonzetters prize for best composition of 2010 for paramyth, the Willem Pijper Prize for dreams of the blind and the International Rostrum of Composers Prize 2014 for words and song without words.

Together with Andy Moor and Isabelle Vigier he founded and runs the CD label for new electronic music Unsounds. He is a founding member of the ensemble MAZE, and teaches composition at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague.

Anne La Berge. Her passion for the extremes in both composed and improvised music has led La Berge to the fringes of storytelling and sound art as her sources of musical inspiration. Her performances bring together the elements on which her reputation is based: a ferocious and far-reaching virtuosity, a penchant for microtonal textures and melodies, and her unique array of percussive flute effects, all combined with interactive electronic processing and text. She performs regularly as soloist, with the ensemble MAZE and in the duo Shackle. She is a founding artist of Splendor Amsterdam, a collective of musicians, who have transformed an old bathhouse in Amsterdam into a cultural mecca.

She can be heard on the Largo, Artifact, Etcetera, Hat Art, Frog Peak, Einstein, X-OR, Unsounds, Canal Street, Rambo, esc.rec., Intackt and Data labels which include recordings with Ensemble Modern, United Noise Toys, Fonville/La Berge, Rasp/Hasp, Bievre/La Berge, Apricot My Lady, Big Zoom, Corkestra, La Berge/Williamson and MAZE. Her music is published by Frog Peak Music and Donemus.

She is the Managing Director of the Volsap Foundation that produces innovative music projects.