Booren, Jo van den

Maastricht, 14 March 1935

Sonata (Soiron) opus 183
duration: about 14′;
publisher: Donemus, Rijswijk 2015;
dedicated to Doris Hochscheid and Frans van Ruth;
first performance: Maastricht, November 6th 2015 by Doris Hochscheid and Frans van Ruth.

Extensive and recently updated information about Jo van den Booren can be found on his personal website (Dutch only) and on the website of Donemus.

In 2015, Doris Hochscheid and Frans van Ruth asked Jo van den Booren, born and currently living in Maastricht, to write a composition for the opening concert of their festival ‘Batta & Co’ around composers from Maastricht.
The idea was that objects from the Bonhomme Tielens Collection, which is permanently exhibited at the Museum aan het Vrijthof, would be the starting point for the composition. Not in the sense that these objects would be ‘musically depicted’, but by looking for a musical form through which their soul, the world behind them could speak. The composer visited the collection several times, after which he invariably ended with a cup of cappuccino at the Grand Café ‘Soiron’ of the museum to absorb all his impressions.
In those days, Van den Booren was reading the book Die schrecklichen Kinder der Neuzeit by the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk. In this book Sloterdijk describes how, after the breaking point of the French Revolution, continuity had to give way to man who from now on wanted to change the world, to a ‘Philosophie der Praxis’. At the same time, the middle classes developed a ‘free floating’ philosophy of aestheticisation, seemingly independent and at the same time suggesting continuity. This philosophy takes form in, among others, the objects of that time, which can be very fragile upon close examination.
Of course, the composition of Jo van den Booren, in which style imitations play a suggestive role, must live a life of its own. But in the video registration below, a number of objects from the Bonhomme Tielens Collection have been made visible. That is: till the composition itself comes to a breaking point…

(July 28th 2016)

AV recording