piano Naar Nederlands


Six Continents - Culture identity versus globalisation
A project by Eleonore Pameijer and Marcel Worms

We live in an age in which borders are fading. The world is getting smaller thanks to the blessings of increased mobility and the internet, and communication is easier than ever. With these blessings also comes the dangers of decreased diversification and of losing our cultural identity. Interchangeable shopping malls sprout up all over the world and MacDonalds is everywhere.
In the meantime, rare languages and dialects disappear and most people prefer listening to mass-produced pop rather than to the music of their own culture. Will there still be room for the intimacy of ones own culture in this age of globalisation? This project was conceived in order to place this antithesis in a broader perspective by way of commissioning composers, giving musical performances and instigating discussions and publications.

Marcel and Eleonore after their concert in the Amstelkerk in Amsterdam on April 2, 2004 with (from left to right) the composers Chiel Meijering, Gilberto Mendes (Brazil), Ronald Snijders and Martin Scherzinger (South-Africa)


For this project Eleonore Pameijer and Marcel Worms have asked composers from six continents (Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia) to compose a work for flute and piano including elements that the composer considers essential to his or her culture in the broadest sense. One may consider him or herself culturally part of a region, a country, or even, for instance, part of a broader European or African culture. The borders of the culture to which one belongs are constantly shifting.

The composers have been asked to consider their own cultural identity and how that relates to the environment and the time in which we live. Consequently, the composer has been asked to give shape to this “monologue intérieur" in a composition.

It is often said that if all the tango's ever composed were to be lost except for Stravinsky's "Tango" that everyone in the future would know exactly what a tango is. Stravinsky's "Tango" is apparently an archetypical ur-Tango in which everything that is essential to the genre can be heard. Similarly, we hope to be able to hear the essential aspects of the composer's musical culture in their compositions.

photo Jarko Aikens

The following composers have participated so far:

From Holland:
- Guus Janssen
- Christina Oorebeek
- Chiel Meyering
- Ron Ford
- David Dramm
- Bob Zimmerman
- Ronald Snijders
- Sinta Wullur
- Hanna Kulenty

Outside of Holland:

- Martin Scherzinger (South Africa)
- Gao Ping (China)
- Ross Edwards (Australia)
- Gilberto Mendes (South America)
- Jalalu Kalvert Nelson (Switzerland/North America)
- Alon Nechushtan (USA / Israël)
- Dusan Bavdek (Slovenia)
-Lalanath de Silva (Sri Lanka)
-Valton Bequiri (Kosovo)

The following composers are busy to write their contribution:
-Ganesh Kumar (India)
-Yasuko Yamaguchi (Germany/Japan)
-Kaori Okatani (France/Japan)
-Pablo Escande (Netherlands/Argentina)

The Icebreaker, Centre for New Music, has 'adopted' the project. The first performances of each round took place every time in close association with the Icebreaker. The first time the location was the Royal Institute for the Tropica in Amsterdam, the second and third round had tyheir premier in the Amstelchurch in Amsterdam and the final round was premiered in the brandnew ‘Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ’. We were one of the first musicians to play there. The Concertzender (a nationwide Dutch radio station for classical and new music) has recorded all these concerts.
Also the Vishal, Centre for the Arts in the town of Haarlem, programmed all four rounds of the project. Many other venues in the Netherlands programmed one or more editions of the projects between 2003 and 2005.
The Dutch and foreign composers have been present at the concerts as much as possible and played an active role there. Jalalu-Kalvert Nelson could be heard not only as a composer but as an improvising trumpet player as well. Bob Zimmerman recited the Ovidius poem which inspired him to his composition Europe- the Drama. Composer David Dramm sung and played his song Hello Pop Tart while the other composers and musicians formed a backing kazoo-choir.
For the concerts in the second round South-African composer Martin Scherzinger and his Brazilian colleague Gilberto Mendes came to the Netherlands in april 2004. They introduced their new works at the concerts and gave lectures at the Conservatory and the University of Amsterdam. Furthermore Gilberto Mendes was invited to talk about his work on the national classical radio station 'Radio 4'. Martin Scherzinger played the mbira at a number of concerts.
In the fall of 2004 Chinese composer Gao Ping and Sri Lankan composer Lalanath de Silva were invited to come to the Netherlands and participated in a number of concerts. In april 2005, during the final round of the project, Slovenian composer Dusan Bavdek and his American colleague Michael Fiday were our guest in several Dutch venues.

From the 2005-2006 season we will continue to play the existing repertoire of our 6 Continents Project as well as new works in the Netherlands, India, Sri Lanka and Slovenia. In the meantime we recorded this project on our cd Spanning the Globe. We could do this thanks to a financial contribution of UNESCO, in the framework of the 60th birthday of this United Nations organization.

Please consult the agenda on this site for dates of the ‘6 Continents’ concerts.