Sandra & Jeroen van Veen | NLXL

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Classical: Minimalism World: World Fusion Moods: Instrumental
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NLXL

by Sandra & Jeroen van Veen

Picturebook by Karel Tomeï, composed to a movie with music by Jeroen van Veen. Showing the Netherlands from above.
Genre: Classical: Minimalism
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Soundscape, Noth Sea
1:39 album only
clip
2. NLXL: I. "Opening"
6:45 album only
clip
3. Soundscape: The Dunes
1:11 album only
clip
4. NLXL: II. "Going Down"
2:30 album only
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5. Soundscape: Oud-Maarsseveen
1:10 album only
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6. Structures
4:13 album only
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7. Soundscape: A10 Near Amsterdam
3:22 album only
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8. Density
3:36 album only
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9. Space
3:13 album only
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10. Soundscape: Passing Trains
1:05 album only
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11. On the Train
2:45 album only
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12. Rollercoaster
0:45 album only
clip
13. On our way to?
1:30 album only
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14. In Holland
1:43 album only
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15. Soundscape: Amsterdam
1:37 album only
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16. Industrial threat
5:31 album only
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17. Soundscape: Industry
1:39 album only
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18. Incanto 03
9:00 album only
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19. Soundscape: Extrema
0:18 album only
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20. On the beat
3:28 album only
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21. NLXL
0:17 album only
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22. Who will win?
5:04 album only
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23. Soundscape: Zaansche Schans
1:15 album only
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24. Sliced Country
5:51 album only
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25. Music Box playing Theme from NLXL
0:31 album only
clip
26. NLXL III
8:48 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The composition
When my eyes first caught a glimpse of the photographers book NLXL by Karel Tomeï,
I was deeply impressed by these familiar yet indistinct patterns in the landscape as seen from the air. Drastic changes in perspective become apparent only when you observe the views of Holland from the sky. The photos made me wonder: “What would it be to convert NLXL into a mixture of music and soundscapes?” After I contacted Karel Tomeï on the idea, I started reorganizing the photos into categories. A multitrack recording comprising a variety of keyboard instruments, that was the idea.
Holland History We are a land of water. In the early days, the Low Countries were largely submerged. People in the Netherlands have been draining the lower parts of Holland, and with that started a fight against the vast waters surrounding us. Dikes along with a multitude of mill pumps keep the water away from countryside and urban areas. This story becomes clear when you look at photos taken from above. An equal rendition can be heard in the accompanying musical composition. Strange agricultural formations perfectly combine with an amalgamation of the shrill sounds of seagulls rising from the dunes and the clear notes of alternating keyboard instruments playing throughout. The composition is written in predominantly A minor. The threat of water remains, as the larger part of Holland resides below sea level even now.
NLXL composition & the Netherlands The NLXL composition about Holland (the word itself composed of seven letters), is composed primarily of seven distinct notes of the scales. As notes follow in ascending order they create the impression of audibly taking to the air, whereas dropping lines of notes represent looking down at the world below. When you do look down, you’ll notice how whole our country is a configuration of individual jigsaw pieces fitting together neatly. This notion is also the blueprint used to compose the music. Large segments versus the smaller parts of landscape express themselves
in longer and shorter notes. As landscape ingredients repeat themselves to form the jigsaw, so do an array of motifs produce a similar fitting jigsaw for the ears. Vegetational dispersion found in photographs of nature come forward in music in the form of variations of these motifs.
What makes this composition unique is the extra­ ordinarily relation between photographs and music. Instead of just looking at the numerous sea shores, you can hear them too. But not just soundscape recordings are reflections of the photographs, also the keyboards share this relation. The continuous refinement of the roads into streets and eventual paths can be heard back in an unceasing advancement of detail in the motifs. In addition, a symbolic value can be found in each of the in­ struments: the striking red toy piano is a characterization of a country midst a range of other countries much larger than itself. It is first to play the NLXL theme, thereby re­ vealing his identity to his larger counterparts. One of the latter is an organ: organ sounds are a reflection on the high organ density found in inner Holland. Harpsichords symbolize old music tradition, as opposed to synthesizers, who represent a completely different, modern culture.
O u t i n t h e f i e l d The NLXL composition includes a soundscape. A soundscape is a collage of sound recordings from a particular location. A collage it is indeed: recordings are categorically scattered throughout the musical piece. The location in this respect is rather extensive: the Netherlands as a whole. I have been to countless spots to record the diversity of sounds. One time, when I thought I had found the ultimate site of quietness, I was holding the tape recorder, and noticed how still there was this vast arrangement of sounds middle in the fields and flowers.
An exciting moment was this time I stood beneath a bridge and heard the traffic flow of the A10 create an intense low­frequent tone. At the same time, a railway train passed and a subway passed underneath me. It was a moment of such vigor, I decided to use this recording as a transition between two sections.

T h e m u s i c The NLXL theme is transcribed a­c / e­c. This motif, along with the organ and the opening motif a­c­a­c­ b­e are like a “leitmotif” throughout the entire composition. The score counts 232 pages. Inspired by the performance of Different Trains by Steve Reich, we play on an acoustic piano, three keyboards, two toy pianos and percussion, all lead by a master tape. To play all the instruments of the piece acoustically, without use of tapes, it would take 12 musicians. Enjoy listening to a finely tuned mixture of music and soundscapes and get taken away to the skies!

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