Rozalie Hirs


Fine review by Siebe Riedstra

Today Wiek Hijmans announced this fine review about his new CD Electric Language on the Dutch webzine Opus Klassiek. Siebe Riedstra remarks, among other things:

Listening to a CD like this one is like a musical journey of discovery, that may produce memorable moments. Such a moment is article 6 [waves] by Rozalie Hirs (1965), who transverses life both as a poet and as a composer. On Ladder 11 with Fie Schouten, performing on the bass clarinet, something similar happened – article 7 kept on chasing down the ear. This is music with a remarkable tendency towards comtemplation that for a change does not lull one into sleep.


Zenit (2010)

On 15 April 2018 at 20:15 CET DoelenKwartet plays Hirs’ first string quartet Zenit (2010) during the program Van buiten naar binnen. The concert is part of the Red Sofa Series at Juriaansezaal, De Doelen, Rotterdam. The concert also features works by Caroline Berkenbosch, Maxim Shalygin, and Willem Jeths. At 19:15 CET Hans Woudenberg, cellist of Doelenkwartet, interviews the four composers on the red sofa (photograph: Louis Haagman).

Download program booklet [PDF; Dutch]

Date: 2018-04-15
Time: 20:15
Location: De Doelen (Juriaansezaal), Schouwburgplein 50, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Performers: DoelenKwartet



Earlier this week, while browsing old photo albums together with my dear father, we came across this picture. It was probably taken around 1987 during a dinner following my uncle’s Ph.D. defense at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.


Contemporary Compositional Techniques and OpenMusic (book, software)

Rozalie Hirs, Bob Gilmore: Contemporary Compositional Techniques and OpenMusic (Paris: IRCAM/Delatour, 2009)

The first part of this book contains an interview with Tristan Murail and three essays on musical works of Claude Vivier (Lonely child, 1980), Gérard Grisey (Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil, 1997–98), and Tristan Murail (Le lac, 2001) by Bob Gilmore, Jean-Luc Hervé, and Rozalie Hirs. The authors provide detailed analyses of these works, focusing on the frequency-based techniques and compositional processes employed by the composers.

The second part of the book originated in OpenMusic and Contemporary Compositional Techniques, a series of lectures and workshops given by Rozalie Hirs and guest professors Tristan Murail, Mikhail Malt, Benjamin Thigpen, Marco Stroppa, and Niels Bogaards at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam during the 2005/06 academic year. The series was initiated by the Nieuw Ensemble and its artistic director, Joël Bons, as part of the annual Componistenpracticum. The Nieuw Ensemble and conductor Lucas Vis rehearsed and performed new pieces written by an international group of composition students from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and the Royal Conservatoire in the Netherlands. In turn, the students documented their creative process in the seven essays included in this volume. An extensive essay on Tristan Murail’s compositional ideas and frequency-based techniques originated in the lecture series given by Rozalie Hirs. It provides the most detailed discussion of Murail’s work available in English today.

The two articles by Rozalie Hirs were written with financial support by Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds (2003-05) and Amsterdam School of the Arts (2006-07). The article On Murial’s Le lac was part of her D.M.A. dissertation at Columbia University (2007).
Press release [PDF]

All OM patches discussed in the book were programmed in OpenMusic. All OM patches illuminating the ideas and techniques of Tristan Murail employ the OMTristan library. The original OMTristan library was developed by Tristan Murail. Rozalie Hirs merged OMTristan with the original Esquisse library; the menu and object names were unified and translated into English; those characters that are forbidden or active in CommonLISP were removed from the object names. It was upgraded to versions 3.0 and 3.1 for use with higher versions of OM and MacOsX by Jean Bresson, and further debugged into version 3.2 by António Florença for use with the latest OpenMusic software. In the summer of 2016 Tristan Murail and Rozalie Hirs added some new functions to the OMTristan 3.3. In the Spring of 2018 Jean Bresson updated the library in order to make it compatible with the current version of OpenMusic 6.13. Feel free to share the updated library through this page. Enjoy!

OMTristan 2.0 for Mac PPC and pre-Intel versions of OM
OMTristan 3.0 for Mac Intel and PPC and OM 6.1.2-6.5
OMTristan 3.1 for higher versions of OM and MacOsX (14 February 2014)
OMTristan 3.2 for the current version of OpenMusic (7 October 2015)
OMTristan 3.3 with added functionalities, for the current version of OpenMusic 6.10-6.12 (19 August 2016)
OMTristan 3.4 compatible with OpenMusic 6.13 (7 April 2018)

N.B. As a general rule keep in mind that OMTristan works best in OpenMusic on its own, i.e. try to avoid loading too many other libraries while working with OMTristan.

Microtonal playback
You might like to address problems concerning microtonal playback (within the current version of OpenMusic 6.10) by using the free software SimpleSynth and taking the following steps to set up playback. You can download the additional simplesynth-basics.omp patch, devised by Tristan Murail, here.

When initializing for the first time:
A.) open MIDI setup in Audio MIDI Setup
B.) doubleclick IAC Driver
C.) create 2 virtual midibusses: IAC bus 1 and 2
D.) make them active => V put online
E.) open SimpleSynth
F.) select IAC port 1 from menu
G.) launch OpenMusic; open your current workspace or create a new one
H.) import the simplesynth-basics.omp patch into your current workspace and evaluate steps 1-3

Always when opening OpenMusic:
A.) open SimpleSynth
B.) launch OpenMusic
C.) open the simplesynth-basics.omp patch and evaluate steps 1-3

(Remember to switch on ‘Auto microtone bend’ by ticking the box in OpenMusic Preferences/MIDI)


parallel sea [to the lighthouse]

The new composition parallel sea [to the lighthouse] for twelve instruments and electronic sounds (2018) is completed. I feel deeply grateful for the commission by ASKO|Schönberg and its artistic director Fedor Teunisse, the support of the Performing Arts Fund, The Netherlands, as well as the artist-in-residence at Maison Dora Maar, Ménerbes, France. The score of parallel sea [to the lighthouse] (2018) by Rozalie Hirs is published by Deuss Music, The Hague, The Netherlands.

At Maison Dora Maar a most wonderful mistral-filled month of March was spent. The picture on the left shows the view from my window in the artist’s studio where I worked many hours a day on the new work. The picture below depicts an almond tree fiercely blossoming on top of the hill at Lacoste, one of the neighboring villages of Ménerbes.


Praise by Ton Naaijkens about gestammelte werke (2017)

Ton Naaijkens, hoogleraar Duitse letterkunde en Vertaalwetenschap, opent het recente jubileumnummer van Tijdschrift Filter met het artikel “Het vertaaljaar 2017 – De betrokken vertaalhemel”, waarin hij de vertaaloogst van 2017 bespreekt. Over gestammelte werke (Berlin: kookbooks, 2017) zegt hij:

Ik zit overduidelijk in de streng van de zonneschijn en wijs enthousiast op een publicatie van Rozalie Hirs. Bij de Duitse uitgeverij kookbooks verschenen haar Gestammelte Werke. Het gaat om een oorspronkelijke bundel van de dichteres in het Nederlands en elf andere talen, allemaal in één bundel tegelijk: “We zijn taalwezens, doen taal na, altijd in wording,” vertaal ik haar Duitse toelichting en citeer dus in één moeite door mezelf en Rozalie Hirs. “We veranderen haar, de taal, en onszelf door te spreken (en te schrijven), in het voelen-denken, in het waarnemen, in de uitwisseling. We ervaren onszelf in de wereld, in het spreken, in het woordtasten, en -proberen.” Meer dan elf vertalers wagen zich aan de teksten, onder hen Rozalie Hirs, die samen met kookbookskoningin Daniela Seel zichzelf vertaalt. Over feest gesproken, weg met alle donderwolken […] (Ton Naaijkens, Filter, Vantilt, 2018)