More info

Transit in 2023

24 May 2023 · Maarten Beirens

Transit enthusiastically embraces a colourful – diverse - variety of new music.

Three years ago, Transit joined Sounds Now, a collaboration between nine international partners, supported by funding from Creative Europe. With ‘curating diversity’ as central theme, Sounds Now commits to explore diversity (ethnically, in terms of gender and of socio-economic background) at the core of the artistic mission of a festival.

How does a curator deal with cultural elements in a world that is increasingly getting more diversified? How do today’s composers and creators reflect upon the diversity surrounding them? And how can we discover together with a new generation of curators what this new context may bring to the DNA of a festival?

But the start of Sounds Now coincided with a cultural field under lockdown. So many Sounds Now-productions were post- poned, so that only now its presence within Transit really becomes apparent.

  • With Counterforces (for which Frederik Croene brought together a diverse trio of singers) and Noise Uprising (Zwerm with Sofia Jernberg and Sophia Burgos) we feature two Sounds Now productions in which artists reflect on aspects of that central theme.
  • A similar perspective can be found in Marco Blaauw’s search for the universality of the trumpet sound.

On the other end we find composers attempting to establish order amid a multitude of musical (and theatrical) possibilities:

  • the hyperreality of Michael Beil’s irresistible Hide to Show,
  • the relics of Mauro Lanza,
  • up to the stark beauty of mathematical combinations in Tom Johnson and proportions with Heleen Van Haegenborgh.

The times when ‘new music’ implied a particular aesthetic lies behind us. In its place comes a festival enthusiastically embracing a colourful - diverse - variety of new music. A variety in which the audience can delightfully browse at will.

The times when ‘new music’ implied a particular aesthetic lies behind us.

Maarten Beirens