Belgian Music Days : press review in Crescendo

About Belgian Music Days concert, Feb 15th 2024

In Bozar's Salle M, on the same day at 6:30 p.m., Ictus takes the stage, serving the music of five young composers: Maya Verlaak's (°1990) astonishing, hypnotic, hiccupping Roulette starts off improvised, a piano-electric guitar duet reoriented in real time by the computer listening to the two musicians (and displaying a double colored wheel cut into slices - a way of giving performers a glimpse of her often innovative and playful compositional techniques); later, her Anticipation charms with the sound of the melodica (Jean-Luc Plouvier - on the very recent disc, it's an accordion), with its floating, slow, blurred horizontal unfolding.

The two pieces by Jinwook Jung (°1994), based on the darkly surreal poems of his compatriot Yi Sang, are subtly written with rubs, blows and contrasting attacks, despite a certain formalism that artificializes the listening experience. Conversely, Ghent-born Julia Emmery (°1989), in Hoquetus, assembles memories (Guillaume de Machaut and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker) and melodies (the hidden ones fascinate her), and plays with the resonance of gongs of different sizes and the persistence of guitar sounds to draw waves of sound.
guitar sounds to draw waves in space.

i#1 inaugurates a new collaboration between Pierre Slinckx and Ictus (hence the "i"), with a piece featuring a unique instrumentarium, since the microtonal glockenspiel (an octave of thirty-six tones separated by a sixth of a tone) played by Ruben Orio is constructed for the occasion from aluminum tubes. The two keyboards in the composer's hands (one for the melody, the other for the bass line) produce constantly retuned notes, the bass re-tuning to the melody, the melody re-tuning to the bass: the music flees and drifts, a strange beauty in perdition, circumventing norms, a disturbed ellipse constantly brought back to a beginning that has no end.

Bernard Vincken
Crescendo Magazine









Mentioned in this article
From the Ictus Press-Book