Cello Octet Amsterdam is an adventurous collective of cellists that stands for new music and interdisciplinary performances. The Octet has become a household name in the contemporary music world, partly through collaborations with composers such as Philip Glass, Sofia Gubaidulina, Arvo Pärt, Michael Gordon and Kate Moore. After the preimiere of his first piece for the Octet, Arvo Pärt said: "The Octet is worth its weight in gold, I discovered this ensemble 10 years too late."The cellists manifest themselves as a close-knit world-class chamber music ensemble, but also as pioneering performers in performances such as Cello Krijgers (co-production with Oorkaan), or as a rock band in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Cello Band.
Based on the conviction that musicians are at the heart of society and have a responsibility to contribute to social discussions, the octet regulary enters into special collaborations with composers, theater makers, choreographers and social organisations. The performances Instant Happiness and Instant Love (co-production with Via berlin) dealt with topical subjects such as consumer society and human trafficking, and the Octet recently foucsed on processes such as decolonization and migration.
Performances have brought the Octet to stages and festivals in Europe, the United States, Central and South America, Asia and the Middel East.
"...this ensemble is a treature; it's a great example for the music world... Everywhere I play: Brazil, Japan, USA, I'm spoken to about the Cello Octet..." (Yo-Yo Ma).
A choreography of sounds with nine musicians on stage. Eight cellists and a singer venture at the intersection of sound and movement, of time and space. Cello Octet Amsterdam and LeineRoebana join forces to enhance and change the listening experience of music through dance, use of space and movement; to make it an integral experience. In this way the audience feels how music is connected to the space and how much it is an expression of the body. The performance is inspired by composers who lived and wrote at the intersection of Renaissance and Baroque. In Gesualdo's compositions, for example, traditional polyphony clashes with the new expression of the early Baroque, and Luzzaschi and Strozzi wrote music when women in Europe were allowed to be singers for the first time. Composer Peter Vigh in turn sees this music as a meccano box with building blocks for a new sound world. Where age-old music and brand-new sounds meet, where instruments and bodies rub against each other, the energy of the unexpected is discharged.
Compositions: Carlo Gesualdo, Luzzasco Luzzaschi, Barbara Strozzi
New compositions: Peter Vigh
Choreography/ musical dramaturgy: Andrea Leine & Harijono Roebana
Musicians/ performers: Elisabeth Hetherington (sopraan) & Cello Octet Amsterdam
SONUS MOTUS is a co-production of LeineRoebana and Cello Octet Amsterdam.