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Interview with Arend Gerds

We are very excited that Arend Gerds offers his own classical compositions for wind music through Sonolize. He studied at the ArtEZ conservatory with Alex Manassen and Montclair State University (USA) with V.J. Manzo and Ting Ho, where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in composition. Besides teaching composition at the Zwolle conservatory, Arend is also a conductor and not to mention a father. Arend is a very friendly, passionate storyteller.
We have interviewed Arend Gerds and would like to introduce him to you.

What was it like to study with V.J. Manzo. Talk about a barrel full of ideas ...
Super. I look back on it with great pleasure. Not only because of the study, but also because of the fantastic city of New York, where I could be found almost daily to visit concerts and museums. With Manzo, as part of my master's research, I investigated how programming (algorithms) and composing on an acoustic level go together. This resulted in compositions for musicians and "computer", which created a musical dialogue between player and computer.

How do you get inspired?
Composing is often about creating problems and then being able to solve them yourself. This requires an analytical ability so that even from the idea of what it should not be, you arrive at the idea of what it should be. Inspiration is great, but annoying when you depend on it and it is not there. As a composer you develop tools to achieve results without inspiration. Apart from this, fortunately there is more than enough "food" for inspiration, including from other art disciplines such as painting (Mondriaan, Kandinsky) and the collaboration with inspiring choreographers. I also really appreciate the substantive dialogue with colleagues. I personally experience an abundance of ideas; the challenge is how you develop them.

What characterizes your composing style?
I think, an approach to composing from the idea of autonomous parameters. This means leaving melody, rhythm and harmony in their own function and value as much as possible, so that they are not servants or slaves of each other. This approach is about finding an optimal balance between these parameters within a compositional idea. What plays a role, of course, is the question for who you write (level, instrumentation, 'desired' sound idiom). This determines how freely I can deal with the autonomy of the parameters.

How do you keep developing yourself as a composer?
By continuing to compose. Compositional problems keep coming, just like the solutions ...

Is it an advantage to be taught composition? And how do you prevent yourself as a teacher from steering too much instead of stimulating someone's personal creativity.
I think so, because the development of compositional tools, a strong analytical capacity and a sharp presentation is facilitated by a training based on craftsmanship. That does not alter the fact that there are also self-made composers who manage very well without training. What an education also offers is the awareness of your position as a composer within a historical context (certainly after the last century). It is striking that not everyone is aware of this.
As a teacher you safeguard creativity by adopting a non-normative approach. From a pedagogical point of view a very interesting fact. You guide students to new discoveries to enrich or help them further. The word discovery is beautiful in that respect, that which is covered, you discover.

And speaking of creativity… Does creativity go well with commerce?
That certainly works well. Also, with originality. I accept that as a composer I often have to write in an applied way, because of the client. The art for me, when writing on commission, is to find my own fascination within the limits that lie there.

What does a typical working day look like for you.
I don't really have a typical working day. I often start around 9:00 am with the work that has to be done at that time. This can be composition related, teaching or preparing for a rehearsal. Composing always continues and can be done at any time. The nice thing about working from home is that you can.

One Covid19 question anyway… What does this period mean for your work besides the social and financial problems.
More time for composing. Many activities are canceled, which means that I often sit at home and can compose. Thematically / substantively it means nothing to the work I am writing at the moment. I notice that I miss the social contacts, what I experience during teaching and conducting, at these moments.

How do you see the future of the musical landscape. Did your choice for Sonolize play a role in this?
Difficult question. I think it would be desirable to have a future in which composers are not too dependent on external matters but feel the freedom to function from "the idea" that arises within themselves. As a youngster you experience that there are influencers and institutions who leave a considerable mark on things. Especially when you want to participate in the 'playing field'. All kinds of interests play a role.
What I appreciate about Sonolize is that composition-related matters remain under the control of the composer, which guarantees my freedom and independence. In an ideal world, the main thing remains the music itself. Publishers, platforms or institutes are only peripheral phenomena in this respect, which, on the other hand, can contribute very positively.

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More music at school

In the days previous to the Dutch Queen Máxima's 50th birthday on 17 May, the Dutch foundation "Meer Muziek in de Klas" (More music education at schools) is calling on all of the Netherlands to make an extra effort in music education at schools. 

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From piano music to orchestral works.

The great thing about Sonolize is that composers know how to find each other to learn from each other. Tom Schipper, for example, helps the young composer Tae Hyung Ruisch to become even better. Read his blog on how.

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Interview with Adriaan Dropsie

We are very excited that Adriaan Dropsie is offering his classical Spanish compositions for guitar and flute through Sonolize. We would like to introduce him to you in this interview.

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Webinar by Alex Schillings at Brabant Association

"The search for the main and side issues. A lifelong occupation for a conductor ". That is the title of the webinar that Alex Schillings will be leading on Sunday 24 January at the invitation of the Brabant Association of Music Associations (BBM).

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VLAMO aims a composition competition for fanfare

The Flemish music organisation VLAMO is focusing on the brass band for the 2021 Composition Competition. Composers can participate by submitting a new work for the lower divisions before August 31, 2021.

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Merry Christmas and a happy New Year

We wish all our friends, composers and musicians a beautiful Christmas season and a joyful, inspiring, successful, peaceful, musical and most importantly a happy and healthy 2021.

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Drummer & pianist Jeroen Elfferich: "The essence of music lies in simplicity"

Interesting article - in Dutch - about Jeroen Elfferich and his passion for music, written by Thea Derks on Contemporary Classical.

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How can I find the copyright holder as an arranger?

If you want to arrange a work from a composer, you will have to ask the copyright holder. But how do you find out who manages the rights of the composer you are looking for?

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Composers newsletter

Check out this autumn's Composers newsletter with tips on applying for rights as arranger, marketing and music uploading.

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Sonolize in the press

On September 18, DPG media published a nice article about Sonolize in which our passion is aptly expressed.

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Press release

Groundbreaking initiative Sonolize offers an alternative to traditional publishers of sheet music

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Masterclass Composition and Conducting

The School of the Arts in Bern (Switzerland) offers a masterclass Composition and Conducting, specifically for Brass bands. 

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COVID-19 responses from the music sector

From the Music sector, various actions are taken per country to support music authors and the music sector in general during these difficult times.

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Sonolize is growing

We have great ambitions and want to become the place in Europe where composers can offer and sell their sheet music digitally.

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Fair practice code

Sonolize endorses the Fair Practice Code for entrepreneurship in the arts and culture sector. It's all about Fair Pay, Fair Share and Fair Chain.

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Advisory board

We are proud to anounce that Alex Schillings, Mariska Bogaard-Rethans, Micha Schimmel and Geert van Wijk will take a seat in the Sonolize Advisory Board.

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Merry Christmas and let’s celebrate 2020

We wish our friends, composers and musicians a beautiful Christmas season and a happy, healthy, joyful, inspiring, successful, peaceful, musical and truly amazing welcome in the ‘roaring twenties’.

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Proudly we present

We are proud to announce that a number of composers have joined us to realize something special together with us.

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Sonolize is live

Join Sonolize and start up- and downloading music today. From composers to players, digital, independent, fair and with a wide choice of qualified music.

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