The year 2022 is the 150 birth anniversary of the Dutch painter Piet Mondriaan. To commemorate, the Mondriaanhuis, September Me and ArtEZ Conservatorium created a performance to express the life and work of Mondrian with existing and new compositions. The concert took place in the Veerensmederij in Amersfoort.
Together with Ana Marco Pérez and Mireia Escobar Ortega, we wanted to present a biography of Mondriaan from a new perspective. He is known as one of the most important Dutch painters of the 20th century and his most famous paintings are easily recognizable. But do we know something about his other interests, which influenced and defined his art? Music was one of Mondriaan’s main passions and a clear relationship can be seen between his musical tastes and the style of the pictures he painted, and how the two evolved hand in hand throughout his life. For our performance, we divided his life into four stages that were crucial for his artistic development: his first years in The Netherlands, when he moved to Paris, when he went back to The Netherlands during World War I and when he finally moved to New York, where he stayed until he died. We chose a piece of music to represent each of the stages mentioned above by combining some pieces that he listened to with others that describe the ambiance of each stage.
You can find more information about the event and the festival here.
One of the aspects of music that I love the most is the special bond it creates between people. Mireia and Ana are some of my closest friends, and music was not only what brought us together on the first place, but also what has made us know each other in a unique and very special way.
I really enjoyed sharing ideas and brainstorming with them through the process of creating this project, and seeing how our initial idea was slowly shapping thanks to the input of all of us. Besides being inspired by them, something that I appreciated a lot was that I felt in a safe space while working with them: I felt welcome to share even the craziest and most stupid idea that crossed my mind without having any fear of being judged. And I think that's crucial when it comes to working on a group, because then you see it reflected on the outcome and the moment of the performance itself. For someone who gets really nervous when playing in front of others, this feeling of home and safety can mean a lot.
Another aspect of the creation process of this performance that I enjoyed was the coaching we received. Since the performance was part of the Residency Project of ArtEZ, we were lucky enough to receive coaching from Rosa Arnold, first violinist of the Ragazze Quartet. At first, I expected that she would give us a mainly musical coaching, but she focused mostly on the performative elements of the project. It was really eye-opening and exciting. As first year students of the Master's Degree, we were still not so used to working on this kind of interdisciplinary performances, so all of her experience on the field was really helpful and inspiring to us.
A really good first step into the world of festivals!