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Wiel Conen

HISTORY
Composer Wiel Conen started his career in the United States by studying Music Theory in Los Angeles. He then studied Composition at the Juilliard School in New York.
Following his return to the Netherlands, he continued his training under composer Misha Mengelberg, including a spell at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam.
In a recent interview, his teacher Mengelberg described Conen as follows: “He has Bruckner’s temperament: rather unworldly, extremely friendly and far from stupid. In his attic room he has a computer and a sampler, and he uses them to produce pieces, each of which is equally delightful. It is the nicest stuff I have come across recently.”
The words of praise fit with the modest aim which Conen sets for himself in his compositions: “To give shape to whatever is bubbling up inside me in such a way that an audience can derive satisfaction from it.”

DIFFUSENESS
Conen wants to use his work to tell stories. “It is not really about definite subjects, conscious beliefs or thoughts. It is about emotions, about atmospheres. Everyone has their own field in which they are expressive. For me, it is composing music.” In telling his stories, Conen consciously chooses for what he calls “depth of voice”. This has nothing to do with singing, but a lot to do with the range of the palette. “I want to have the freedom to use everything that I feel is necessary. For that reason, I will draw - particularly for the electronic compositions - from areas such as folk music, jazz and particularly pop music.”

IMPROVISED MUSIC
Wiel Conen started to write in 1978 following a period during which he performed as a guitarist focussing mainly on improvised music: pop and free jazz. “At that time, what I call ’moment compositions’ were created: improvisations which were recorded on tape on the spot. Working from those improvisations, I started to apply structure, and that led to actual compositions: particularly when I gained access to a multi-track tape recorder with which you can superimpose several soundtracks with different messages.” The emphasis increasingly shifted to composition. His guitar-playing slipped into the background.

THE NEW WORLD
The switch occurred in the United States. “When I went to the ’new world’, with two guitars in my luggage, it was mainly to find kindred spirits as a guitar player. But in Los Angeles I discovered that I found elaborating musical thoughts to be more important than playing music. In Los Angeles I started to write tunes down for the first time. I also made my first steps into atonality after attending lectures at the Schönberg Institute about the composer and his work.”
Years later, a television documentary about electronic music made a deep impression on him. It featured a report about new equipment which had been developed at IRCAM, the centre for electronic music in Paris. This equipment could be used to transform all kinds of sounds. Conen says: “It was fascinating that sounds could change their shape through digital processes.”
He started to experiment: with a simple computer at home and sometimes - using more advanced equipment - at STEIM, the centre for electronic music in Amsterdam.
Three years ago the composer purchased a computer which substantially expanded on the possibilities previously offered to him by tape recorders and the old PC. The electronic composition are now a very important part of his oeuvre. A selection of his works in this area will shortly be released on CD.

COMPOSING
Composition using musical notation with pencil and paper at the piano makes up the other area of Conen’s work. This technique has produced works for chamber orchestra, a string quartet and a song cycle, amongst other things. The fourteen works for piano which can be heard on this CD have been created over the past thirteen years. Conen comments on his piano compositions: “These are all my piano works up to 1995. They were first performed - also by Marijke van Duin - in Amsterdam in early 1996. The language which I am seeking to speak in these works is based on space, tension and stirred emotions. Where chaos and confusion appear to reign, the listener can also discover a new order. A clear development in my work over the past thirteen years can be heard in these works. By working with electronics, I discovered more and more possibilities and freedoms within composing with musical notation which I had thought only existed on the computer. Although the piano works are limited by the restrictions of the acoustic, I have consciously chosen not to add anything. The piano as an instrument has a multiplicity of possibilities. In fact, you can render all musical thoughts - including those for an orchestra - on a piano.”
 


Oeuvre

1 guitar 4tet no. 1 1979
2 guitar 4tet no. 2
3 guitar 4tet no. 3
4 guitar 4tet no. 4
5 guitar 4tet & ensemble (12 maal 12)
6 guitar duo
7 for improvisation no. 1
8 guitar 4tet no. 5
9 guitar 4tet no. 6 (chain structure )
10 for piano no. 1 ( & variations )
11 for piano no. 2 ( valse )
12 for clarinet no. 1
13 for improvisation no. 2
14 for organ, flute & clarinet
15 for wind instuments, strings, marimba & guitar
16 for two viola"s
17 for piano no. 3 1982
18 for soprano & piano
19 for flute no. 1
20 for piano no. 4 ( serial fray ) ***
21 for strings ( a glass of wagner )
22 for strings no. 2
23 for improvisation no. 3
24 for piano no. 5 ( mannerism )
25 for chamber orchestra no. 1
26 for two piano's ( cyclus )
27 for piano no. 6 ( bagatelle ) 1985
28 for piano no. 7 ( stage music ) 1985
29 for marimba
30 for piano no. 8 ( captive balloons ) 1985 ***
31 for flute & string 4tet 1986
32 for organ ( fughetta )
33 for small ensemble ( para elisa )
34 for 3 guitars ( crossroad ) 1986
35 for chamberorchestra no. 2 ( kamer octet ) 1987 ***
36 for piano no. 9 ( numero due ) no. 2 revisited
37 for piano no. 10 ( suite ) 1987 no. 3 revisited
38 for piano no. 11 ( vienna dance ) 1987
39 for wind instruments & ensemble ( cambiata overture )
40 for small ensemble ( purputurquesa ) ***
41 for soprano & ensemble ( moody mood )
42 for soprano & ensemble ( something )
43 for soprano & ensemble ( echo's )
44 for wind 5tet & ensemble ( jahlow ) 1988 ***
45 for alto & ensemble ( poppy love )
46 for alto & ensemble ( moody mood ) no. 41 revisited
47 for alto, cello & piano ( tail bite )
48 for alto cello & piano ( chameleon )
49 for alto & ensamble ( something ) no. 42 revisited
50 for alto, piano & violin ( i'd say )
51 for alto, piano, violin, viola & cello ( ohne worte )
52 for alto & ensemble ( e vouch que ) ***
53 for alto & ensemble ( burlinka )
54 for alto & ensemble ( beesplay ) ***
55 for piano no. 12 ( sammedy )
56 for piano no. 13 ( nouveaute de l'annee passe ) ***
57 for string 4tet 1990 no. 31 revisited
58 for chamber orchestra ( cyclus ) 1991 no. 26 revisited ***
59 for string sextet 1991 no. 20 revisited
60 for panflute & piano 1991
61 for porcelain 5tet 1991
62 for computer ensemble ( le bosc ) 1991
63 for computer ensemble ( most art ) 1992 ***
64 for synthesizers & guitar ( meditation on a casual day ) 1992
65 for synthesizers & guitar ( opmaat ) 1992
66 for synthesizers & guitar ( bobpop ) 1992
67 for computer ensemble ( rock that venture ) 1992
68 for piano no. 14 ( in red wise cold ) 1992
69 for computer ensemble ( hausse ) 1993
70 for piano no. 15 ( expansivite ) 1993
71 for carillon en trumpet ( fulgura frango ) 1993
72 for computer string orchestra 1993
73 for chamberorchestra ( rubber time ) 1994 ***
74 for choir, video & midiguitar 1994
75 for piano no. 16 ( rubber time ) 1994 ***
76 for piano no. 17 ( being there ) 1991/94 ***
77 for computer ensemble ( all or nothing ) 1994
78 for midigitaar & computer ( juni '94 improvisations ) 1995
79 for piano no.18 ( patience in six parts ) 1996
80 for computer ensemble & guitar ( hocoze ) 1997
81 for computer ( pf/strings/pf ) 1997
82 for disklavier no.1 1997
83 for disklavier no.2 1997
84 for streetorgan ( get smart ) 1997
85 for computer ( film blindinstitute ) 1997
86 for piano no. 19 ( vacuum cleaner ) 1997
87 for computer ensemble & guitar ( ship ahoi ) 1998
88 for guitar 4tet ( chain ) 1998 no. 9 revisited
90 for piano no.20 ( kippis ja kummitus ) 1998 ***
91 for computer ensemble ( suite dansant immobile ) 1998
92 for tape & violin ( groucho on 441 ) 1998
93 for voice & guitar ( boy guisse one ) 1998
94 for voice & guitar ( boy guisse two ) 1998
95 for computer & guitar ( max a selfportrait ) 1999
96 for computer ( dance wheel, day & night ) 1999
97 for four improvisors ( kompost ) 1999
98 for piano no. 21 ( the egg shuffle ) 2000 ***
99 for midiguitar & tape ( double you ) 2000
100 for piano no. 22 ( XenY ) 2000
101 for computer ( broaching the line ) 2001/2002
102 for computer & sringtrio (film venloo 1936 )
103 for piano no.23 ( resume de l'annee prochane ) 2002
104 for mezzo soprano & ensemble ( luft ) 2002/2003 ***
105 for computer & guitar ( dialog ) 2000
106 for computer bass,drums & midiguitar ( Sparkle ) 2003
107 for computer bass,drums & midiguitar ( Core ) 2003
108 for computer bass,drums & midiguitar ( Samba ) 2003
109 for computer bass,drums & midiguitar ( Mersey ) 2003
110 for computer bass,drums & midiguitar ( Kerrata ) 2003
111 for bass, drums, piano, harpsichord,tub.bells & guitar ( encore, encore ) 2003
112 for piano no.24 ( pervade ) 2004
113 for four drumms ( drumming ) 2004
114 for disklavier & midiguitar ( limited edition ) 2005
115 for voice & tape ( zwijg utrecht ) 2005
116 Schimpf in Zwei Teile , for piano solo 2005
117 Isi blossem, for small ensemble 2006
118 Nipo nimbus, for piano solo 2006
119 Danza immobile, for small ensemble 2006
120 Walnut symphony, for chamber orchester 2007
121 Lexiconvalley vol 1 t/m 9 for guitar, computer & Wii 2007/2009
130 people of.... for carillon & tape 2009
131 Piano solo 2009
132 Pandemon piano solo 2010
133 Voice Wise piano solo 2011
134 Burned Beans piano solo 2011
135 No More piano solo 2011
136 Sanity City wind 5tet 2011
137 No Way, piano solo 2011
138 Nr 6 piano solo, revisited 2012
139 Die Wende piano, clar, vc and vl 2012
140 Nr 3 revisited for tape 2012
141 Nr 4 piano solo revisited 2012
142 / 154 Ulysses for el.guit./ computer and voice
155 Yugaat for chamberorchester 2013
156 Njemtsi piano solo 2014
157 There..still piano solo 2014
158 Big time piano solo 2015
159 Must be there ( Ulysses ) voice and tape 2015
160 Run or jump ( Ulysses ) voice and tape 2015
161 Double hick ( Ulysses) voice and tape 2015
162 Never again to sea ( Ulysses) voice and tape 2015
 


Music


Video's

James Joyce, Ulysses and Charlotte's Drone (YouTube)
from 1001 Tranquillizers vol.2 (YouTube)
www.voordekunst.nl/projecten/2719-charlotte-s-drone
 


Releases

Licks & Electronics. (1995)
For Midiguitar, Lickmachine software, sampler & synthesiser.

Hocoze Symphony in E flat minor. (1997)
For guitar, percussion & sampler.

Max a Selfportrait. (1999)
For guitar synthesiser & sampler.

Dialog. (2000)
For animals, sampler & guitar.

CD Tide and Time (2000)
Pianoworks by Marijke van Duin
( Etcetera KTC 1228 )

Lost Dances. (2003)
For Bass,drum & Midiguitar.

Limited Edition. (2005)
For Disklavier & Midiguitar.
Plus 4 pieces for Disklavier solo.

CD Charlotte's Drone (2015)
Elaborate improvisations,
voice Charlotte Gilissen ( Fortune 003 )

 


Orderform

Licks & Electronics. (1995)
For Midiguitar, Lickmachine software, sampler & synthesiser.

Hocoze Symphony in E flat minor. (1997)
For guitar, percussion & sampler.

Max a Selfportrait. (1999)
For guitar synthesiser & sampler.

Dialog. (2000)
For animals, sampler & guitar.

CD Tide and Time (2000)
Pianoworks by Marijke van Duin
( Etcetera KTC 1228 )

Lost Dances. (2003)
For Bass,drum & Midiguitar.

Limited Edition. (2005)
For Disklavier & Midiguitar.
Plus 4 pieces for Disklavier solo.

CD Charlotte's Drone (2015)
Elaborate improvisations,
voice Charlotte Gilissen ( Fortune 003 )

These CD's can be ordered by email, wielconen@hetnet.nl
  and will be send to your address after payment.
The price is € 15,- each.
Postage cost (app. € 3,50)

Payment to:

Wiel Conen
Amsterdam
Netherlands

Postbank
BIC nr. PSTBNL21
IBAN nr. NL44PSTB0006341970
(Iban International Bank Account Number)

Contact Email: wielconen@hetnet.nl

 


Curriculum Vitae

WIEL CONEN
25-9-1953

Composer/improvisor Wiel Conen studied for one year music theory at the Julliard Conservatory, and composition with Paul Levi in New York, followed by five years of composition with Misha Mengelberg including two years at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam.

Recent activities:

2010
Concert guitar/computer From 1001 tranquillizers at The van Schijndelhuis Utrecht

2009
Performance Lexiconvalley at van Bommel van Dam Museum Venlo Performance Lexiconvalley at Smart Project Space Amsterdam

2005
Realisation CD "Lost Dances" for virtual trio/4tet, bas,drums & midiguitar

Composition "Limited Edition" for disklavier & midiguitar.

Composition/commission "Zwijg Utrecht" for the Ijsselstein Historic museum.

Composition/commission "Allerzielen Allicht" from Kunstenaars & Co in Amsterdam

2004/2003
Composition for mezzosoprano, chamber orchestra, choir & tape.

2002
Composition/commission: Historical films from 1936 by Wim Cox from the Limburg Museum released on video

2002/2001
Composition/commission for the Semsline Artproject by the Herinrichting commissie Gronigs-Drentse veenkolonien, released on DVD.

2000
Release CD on label Etcetera, with piano soloworks and performed by Marijke van Duin.

1999/2000
Composition/commission from Muziek centrum Den Bosch, for improvisation 4tet, with Misha Mengelberg, Luc Houtkamp, Gert Jan Prins & Wiel Conen.

 


Agenda

2014
Release CD in 2014 Improvisations for guitar/computer and voice

2010/2012
From 1001 Tranquillizers; elaborate improvisations for guitar and computer with guest musicians and visual artists

2008
New work for computer, VJ and live musician, to be performed in 2008

2007
Finishing my symphony for 11 instruments;
duration 45 minutes.
 


ArtWork

Paintings by: Nico Scholten ( Ede, 1955 )

Nico Scholten works as a professional artist since 1982.
Graduated from Ateliers '63 Haarlem in 1979 and the Jan van Eyck Academy,
Maastricht in 1982. His work consists of drawing and painting in gouache and
watercolour. Main subjects: landscapes and formations in a still life atmosphere.
Addres: Rapenburg 65F
1011 TV Amsterdam.

tel. 020-6365229


Lightobjects by: Joseph - vjj@xs4all.nl


Photos by: Egon Notermans


Webdesign by: Jeroen Kemp - jeroen.kemp@gmail.com

Webdesign update: welcomehomepage.net