list | one by one | cd/dvd
Niets Nieuws (Nothing New) (2008)
For ensemble
<< One back
Cleaning Instr... (2007)
One further >>
To hell! (nw vrs) (2008)

design: Brordus Bunder
Instrumentation: 4 ob, 4 cor, 4 trp, 4 trbn, 4 vla

Duration: ± 12 minutes

First Performance: 13 february 2008 in De Doelen in Rotterdam

Written for: Nederlands Blazers Ensemble

In collaboration with: Bram de Sutter

Commissioned by: NFPK+

Reviews: "Before sounds work by young composers, who take a too modest position next to this monument (De Staat by Louis Andriessen). 'Niets Niews' by Mayke Nas (1972) starts with lengthy deep sighing, that provokes associations with great efforts in icy winds. Lost horn chords tend towards a Weill-like little dance, but do not progress. Instead a melancholically whistled song."
(Jochem Valkenburg in NRC, 14 februari 2008)

"In the Fluxus-like 'Niets Nieuws' the talented, interesting composer Nas finds an answer in silence: rythmical sounds of breathing with some brasstones and a collectively whistled tune at the end."
(Anthony Fiumara in Trouw, 14 februari 2008)

Audio sample of a live-performance by Nederlands Blazers Ensemble
"For their commentary compositions on Andriessens De Staat - assignment: study Andriessens source of inspiration and write a piece for the same groups of instruments - Mayke Nas and Wilbert Bulsink started by closely reading Plato's dialogues from his Politeia.

To her surprise Nas (1972) discovered that Plato's view on society and the problems that come with different types of societies haven't changed in two and a half millenium. Niets Nieuws (Nothing New ) is therefore how her composition is called and is made to differ from De Staat by Andriessen in every aspect. Initially she thought she would spare no expenses, considering the instrumentation, 'an amount of instruments that can add up to a cathedral of sound'. But after frequently listening to Andriessens composition she saw only one conclusion: absolute restraint. 'I have tried to make the opposite of De Staat. De Staat thunders over the audience like a train in full speed, whereas my piece is as intimate and small as can be and has to draw the audience's attention towards it.

Nas speaks of 'a kind of minimal music', but not in the sense of endless repeats - there are no literal repeats - , but more in the sense of 'arte povera'. In Plato's opinion a society can only work when nothing more than basic needs are provided for. All luxury, all wealth leads to diversion and laziness. That is why she put herself under strict restrictions in what would be and what wouldn't be allowed in her piece. The result is music that has been stripped to the bone."

Joke Dame / NBE