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‘Composed meals’ is the key phrase for the newest project to come from BLACK PENCIL ensemble.

Kaiseki draws inspiration from the particular features of the Japanese kaiseki cuisine and its culinary traditions: attention to detail, use of space, avoidance of repetitions, variation, symmetry, seasonal characteristics and the sound of eating itself. For this programme, the ensemble has worked with chef and culinary historian Patrick Faas, co-author of the book ‘Yamazato’ and a leading authority in his field.


The programme consists of works by composers such as Roderik de Man (1941), Arnoud Noordegraaf (1974), Robert van Heumen (1969), Marcel Wierckx (1971), and also introduces a range of young Japanese composers, including Noriko Koide (1982). These new compositions are connected through a series of arrangements of honkyoku (traditional pieces from the 13th century for shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute), interludes (short improvisations) and the use of live electronics.



Kaiseki is brought to life by BLACK PENCIL ensemble, using their extraordinary combination of blockflute, panflute, viola, percussion and accordion. Aside from their unusual setting, this ensemble sets itself apart from the rest by performing programmes rich in influences from a range of folk cultures.


During the concert, a succinct account of the magic behind the kaiseki kitchen will be enthusiastically related to the audience by Patrick Faas, himself a fantastic speaker. His informative tidbits will be accompanied by an electronically manipulated musical background – the sounds of chewing and slurping, the clink of cutlery, merry diners at the table.


After the concert, both side dishes and complete meals will be available to buy, specially prepared in a way that links the kaiseki concept to the new musical works!


The improvised interludes will be performed in a range of settings, for example the astounding combination of blockflute and panflute. The percussion is also performed by the entire ensemble, such as the virtuosic clattering of knives on pots and pans. Sometimes fast and aggressive, sometimes mysterious and soft, the music gallops from the chaotic to the meditative. The sumptuous sound colours of the combined instruments create an invigorating concert, that is yet accessible enough to completely lose oneself in.


The instrument collection of BLACK PENCIL is perfectly suited to capture and convey the Japanese sound aesthetic. For example, the timbre of the blockflute comes very close to the shakuhachi, and the panflute certainly no less.


The accordion has also taken up a prominent place in the Japanese contemporary music scene. This is not only thanks to many active ambassadors of the instrument, but also due to the character of its sound, reminiscent of the sh? – also known as the Japanese mouth organ.


Percussive instruments are also naturally present throughout the history of traditional Japanese music.


 Kaiseki is a concert of ca. 75 minutes.




- Roderik de Man (1941): Kaiseki Music (2014) *
for blockflute, panflute, viola, accordion, percussion and electronics


- Noriko Koide (1982): Saijiki (2014)
for blockflute, panflute, viola, accordion, and percussion


- Robert Van Haumen (1969): A Short Piece of Decay (2014) *
for blockflute, panflute, viola, accordion, percussion and electronics


- Auyo (1955): Eurasian Tango 1 (1998)
arr. for blockflute, contrabass panflute and sound track (2016)


- Anonymous: Shika no Tone

arr. for blockflute and shakuhachi (2016)


- Arnoud Noordegraaf (1974): Tampopo (2014) *
for blockflute, panflute, viola, accordion, percussion, electronics and video


- Anonymous: Kariboshi Kiri Uta

arr. for blockflute, panflute, viola, accordion, and percussion



* commissioned by the Performing Arts Fund NL

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