The Schreck Ensemble

Schreck Ensemble 2010, photo Michel Marang

The colour of sounds and music can assume almost magical qualities. When the characteristics and nuances of sounds, melodies and harmonies take on new dimensions, when the whole hall is made to resonate, we travel beyond the limits of our normal perception in listening to music. This fascination with all aspects of sound is what drives us; we invite the listener to venture with us on a journey through unfamiliar soundscapes. For enriching and expanding the aural experience of our audiences is our driving motivation and the Schreck Ensemble's raison d'etre.

We find it important to preserve the tradition of classical style music-making alongside our championing of innovation. It is our dream to be able to use our musical instruments and playing ability to attain an equally refined, musical mastery over electronics and computer technology, opening the door to the creation of totally new sounds.
Creating totally new, unique music ourselves and providing the means by which new music can be created by others is simply a matter of course for us.

We founded the Schreck Ensemble back in 1989, so we have more than fifteen years experience in making music together. In the course of this period we have performed countless compositions, including many works especially composed for our ensemble.
Our repertoire now consists of instrumental and 'electroacoustic' music: music that is performed by means of traditional instruments (and singing) in combination with the use of electronics and computer technology. For many years the Schreck Ensemble was the only ensemble in the Netherlands that performed this music.

Over the course of years we have built up a repertoire with electroacoustic works of composers such as Luigi Nono, Kaija Saariaho, John Cage, Jean-Claude Risset, Ton de Leeuw, Chiel Meyering and of course Arie van Schutterhoef and Hans van Eck, , the founders of Schreck.
Many of these works are counted among the most significant examples of the classical avant-garde.

In addition, we have also commissioned electroacoustic works from various composers including Arthur Sauer, Gene Carl, Gerda Geertens, Jeremy Arden, Michael Chocholak and Makoto Shinohara.
In 1997/'98 we realised the project De Dag [The Day], the high point of the collaboration between the Schreck Ensemble and the sound artist Hans van Koolwijk, whose work Bambuso Sonore plays an important part in the project.

A recent development is the performance of multimedia works. So far these comprise Aquae Supracoelestes for tape and video projection and Nuctemeron for ensemble, stratifier, tapes, live electronics and video projection.

The Schreck Ensemble works with varying combinations of musicians, which gives the ensemble the flexibility to perform both solo music and music for larger instrumental combinations. To this end, Schreck's core musicians are joined by various guest artists as required.