Five pieces by the radical young Belgian composer, Maya Verlaak, impeccably performed by Apartment House, and the soloists Sarah Saviet (violin) and Mark Knoop (piano)
"Subversion has destructive connotations. However, subversion can also mean reversing a current standard: being subversive can be anything that challenges an existing system. My approach to subversion doesn’t destroy current standards, but it uses the standards to create, while developing solutions to its own characteristics and problems (with a hint of humour)."
Maya Verlaak is a Belgian composer (Ghent, 1990) who is also active as a performer, curator, teacher and publisher. Since September 2018 she is main subject composition teacher at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam (NL). Maya studied composition at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague (NL) and in 2019 she was also awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at Birmingham City University (UK). Verlaak's works have been commissioned and performed by diverse ensembles and musicians such as the New European Ensemble (NL), Ensemble Interface (DE), Ensemble Klang (NL), London Sinfonietta (UK), Apartment House (UK), Piano+ (USA), Acid Police Noise Ensemble (NL), ACM ensemble (UK), An Assembly (UK), IEMA - Ensemble Modern (DE), Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra (UK), ensemble x.y (UK) and many others. A selection of solo commissions include work for Leo Svirsky (piano), Robert de Bree (recorder), Karin de Fleyt (Flute), Philip Thomas (piano) and Sarah Saviet (violin).
Her compositions often focus on how she can analyse a given context (such as place, musician, instrument, etiquette, conventions) as a way to creating and structuring material for a new work. In doing so, distance is an important attitude to make room for reflection, critical analysis and humor. The results of such a working method can vary enormously: compositions in which insight into the composition and communication between the musicians is central, performances in which the audience is central, self-built instruments and installations with computer programmed or analog electronics.