Thoughts about writing for the Atlas Ensemble

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This is a short paper I wrote as a sort of report after having composed my piece “The Constant: out of a bell pattern” for the Atlas Ensemble. The months prior to the premiere I had taken a subject named “Orientations on intercultural music: the other as inspiration”, guided by Joël Bons (artistic director of the Nieuw Ensemble and the Atlas Ensemble). Besides getting to know musics from many cultures around the globe and their use/ inspiration/ application by contemporary composer, msany issues were discussed in those weekly two-and-a-half hour meetings: identity, colonialism, notation, musical principles, etc…

The question of what to take into account when writting for an ensemble made of traditional instruments from different cultures was often brought to the sessions, and they were somehow what I tried to answer in this paper.

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