Version for Ensemble (2 – 9 players)



Ten pieces (or movements)

I.      Okinawa Dance

II.     Tokyo Song

III.    Hong Kong Dance

IV.    Holy Mountain Song

V.     River Song

VI.    Swan Dance

VII.   Rotterdam Song

VIII.  Clear Island Dance

IX.    Night Train Song

X.     Underground Dance

Songs & Dances is commissioned by VAKIR, a Rotterdam Society for Chamber music musicians, for their 30th Anniversary. For this commission I formulated two goals. Firstly, the society has members that play various instruments on various levels, therefore I wanted to make something in which everybody that wants to participate can. Secondly I aim for music that would appeal to both professionals and amateurs.

The score is constructed in such a way, that the instrumentation, and what parts to play, can be chosen by the ensemble, and there is room for variations and improvisation. See example of the 1st movement below.

Below the example you can read the instructions from the score.

For Songs & Dances, my point of departure was the novel Ghostwritten of David Mitchell that contains ten stories that take place in different countries around the world, where some characters, or storylines, accidentally cross each other. Another binding factor is that there is a ghost who travels from body to body and observes what happens in the world.


The score is set up for unspecified instruments which are categorised as Melody-, Alt-, Bass-, and Chord-instruments (piano and/or 2 guitars). Each movement can be played in various arrangements from two (the main melody + piano) to the maximum of parts within a movement (example: the first movement can be played by up to eight players).

The ensemble chooses it’s own arrangement (parts for transposing instruments available upon request), paying attention to the following:

There is also the possibility of variations and / or improvisations.

This section is optional, an ensemble doesn’t need to vary or improvise. In general I would recommend to first learn the music as it is written, and then develope variations and/or improvisations. Here are some guidelines: