Willem Boogman


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The Road To Here

The Road To Here will be premiered by Ottoni Quartet and organist Wybe Kooijmans
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The Road To Here (2018) for brass quartet and organ was commissioned by the Ottoni Quartet on the occasion of their 25th anniversary, with financial support by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Orgelpark Amsterdam and the Ottoni Quartet. Read more about The Road To Here

Review Passacaglia for flute

Rachel Shirley in: Pan, The Journal of the British Flute Society, November 2017:

›This Passacaglia for solo flute, written in 2015, is a set of seven variations on an original theme. It is an intriguing, melancholy melody, starting so quietly the part is marked to play »to yourself«. The whole piece requires great control over dynamics – often alternating between a loud low register and quiet high register in the variations – to bring out the different ›voices‹ in the variations, »as if there were more players«. Boogman has drawn inspiration from J.S. Bach and this is evident in the way he develops the material through the variations, before slowing and fading back into the theme to end. A thoughtful short piece which would work well alongside Baroque repertoire, showing some of the same techniques in a contemporary context.‹


»… finding - inventio, invenire - of something real, true.«
[Claudio Magris, Non luogo a procedere | Blameless, afterword (2015)]

Find things as they are and make up as little as possible.

Lately I work with readymades (found objects), fragments of music, which regularly play through everybody’s head. These are the building blocks for compositions I now work on. By changing their shape I create completely authentic and new music. With modern techniques like transformations and interpolations at the level of their DNA (modulations) I make their identity fluid as clouds that float by and past each other against a blue sky. This way I compose my ultimate polyphony. (Listen to Distant Voices, Intermezzi, Ihr Tore...) Of the reflection of the known I make the opening to the unknown. Not driven by dreams but by desire.

Recent work to which the above applies: The Road To Here for brass quartet and organ (based on popular music from different styles) and Dive Along the Coral Reef for accordion and five or six instruments of choice (with Bach, Schumann and Reich).

With this way of creating new music I find myself in a longstanding tradition in classical music. Through the centuries composers have often made use of fragments, musical themes or melodies of their predecessors, colleagues, or for instance folkmusic, to create their own works.