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Behind the Scenes IV: El Angel Exterminador (2014)
For piano and four percussionists

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Ralph van Raat
Instrumentation: piano and percussion

Duration: ± 11 minutes

First Performance: 6 oktober 2014 in Musis Sacrum in Arnhem by Ralph van Raat and Slagwerk Den Haag

Commissioned by: Performing Arts Fund NL

El Angel Exterminador is a film by Luis Buñuel from 1962. A film with a phantasticly bizarre and heavy athmosphere, in which a group of people gets locked into a room for weeks in a row after having a dinner party. Nobody understands why nobody is leaving. The door is open. And yet no one seems to be able to leave the room. The company gets into heated debates with one another and eventually slips into a tense lethargic state of exhaustion in which the only sounds one hears are occasional coughing, hysterical outbursts of laughter and the moving of furniture. The alarmbells are ringing outside, but no one comes to their rescue.

What sets them free in the end is the piano playing with which the whole gathering started. It's the music that finally breaks the spell. And the piano player is the one that is pulling the strings. An idea that is exploited in absurdum in this composition.

Slagwerk Den Haag

Video-fragment of a rehearsal in Musis Sacrum, Arnhem
Ralph van Raat & Slagwerk Den Haag (Fedor Teunisse, Niels Meliefste, Joey Marijs, Pepe Garcia)