Arthur Wagenaar

Arthur Wagenaar (Amsterdam 1982) is a composer, keyboard player (piano, hammond, continuum fingerboard, synths, harmonium), creator of music theatre, and inventor of musical instruments. These seem to alternate between mechanical and electronic constructions.

The love for new sounds started with the ‘Rampafoon’ (Disasterphone), an instrument with strings 9 meter in length, build in collaboration with Stijn van Beek and Michel Sanchez Infante while we were studying Musictechnology at HKU. Next came ‘De kleurwerper’ (Colour thrower), an electronic instrument played by juggling. Sound synthesis (SuperCollider) is controlled by videotracking the movement of glowballs in the dark. Another purely mechanical instrument was created in collaboration with LABland in ‘Stads/Einder’ (City’s/Horizons). With strings and levers, prepared piano was made fast and dynamic, as you can turn prepared sounds on and off, like stops on an organ. Back to electronics, for the interactive concert ‘Close Call’ a special app was created in collaboration with Laurens van der Wee, which turns your phone into a real musical instrument: Close Call Live. Concert starts, phones… ON! But are you playing your phone, or is your phone playing you..?

In 2020, an exciting new project starts, where once again Wagenaar is using juggling as a controller of music: Sounds Like Juggling!. Think amplified kites flying around, waving streamers with resonating feathers, wobbling bells, and ticking tops, but also sensors that measure the spinning of clubs and translate this into sound, or measure the impact of a ball and use this to trigger samples. Audible juggling, visual music! A collaboration with Dianne Verdonk and juggler / musicologist Guido van Hout.