Cultural Musicology – Its Possibilities, Limits and Challenges

In this documentary – produced and directed by me – I explore the dimensions of a cultural musicology, through covering debates of musicologists on a wide range of topics at a symposium (Göttingen, September 2012), a workshop (Amsterdam, November 2012) and a panel session (Leiden, March 2013) and through interviews with five renowned musicologists (Birgit Abels, Tomie Hahn, Lawrence Kramer, Wim van der Meer, John Richardson).
The film has the following outline/chapters: Introduction | Musicology and its subdivisions | What’s in a name? (or, what’s wrong with ‘ethnomusicology’?) | Music as cultural practice | Sensational knowledge | Music(ology) in post colonial discourse and cultural theory | The transformation of the idea of culture in (new) musicology | Framing | World Order | Planetary | Power, Institutions, Orthodoxies | Musicologica | Sharing knowledge… how and with whom? | Music and its representations | Shruti | Embracing restlessness | Final notes | End credits (+ some funny stuff) ||
Filmed in 2012 and 2013 in Göttingen, Amsterdam and Leiden.
Duration: 80’27”


Liederen over de Chinese Communistische Revolutie / Songs of the Chinese Communist Revolution

In dit radioprogramma van mij uit 2001 vang ik een staaltje muzikale staatspropaganda van Chinese makelij, communistische liederen die met veel bombast en retorisch geweld op de luisteraar worden afgevuurd. Zet je maar vast schrap!

‘Liederen over de Chinese Communistische Revolutie’, Concertzender-programma Metamorfosen, uitgezonden op 2 november 2001, in het kader van het november 2001-thema ‘Muziek en Politiek’. Produktie en samenstelling: Pieter de Rooij. Presentatie: Marlous Lazal

In 2001 bestond de Chinese Communistische Partij tachtig jaar. Om het jubileum extra luister bij te zetten stelde de Chinese Staatsomroep een jubileumbox samen met de meest bekende heroïsche liederen van de Chinese Communistische Partij, liederen waarin de idealen van het communisme en de Chinese heilstaat worden bewierookt. Van deze jubileumuitgave passeren in deze uitzending een groot aantal liederen de revue, aangevuld in deze video met bijpassend propagandistisch beeldmateriaal, geplukt van het wereldwijde web.

Achtereenvolgens zijn te horen:
– Fragment van de ‘Internationale’ als ‘intro’
– Programmatoelichting, introductie
– De ‘Internationale’

– Proclamatie van de Volksrepubliek China door Mao Tse-tung, 1949

Liederen over de eerste jaren van de Partij, na de oprichting in 1921:
– Arbeiders, Boeren, Soldaten, Verenigt U!
– Lied Van De Vrouwen Van Het Rode Leger
– Drie Hoofdregels Van Discipline En Acht Aandachtspunten
– Zwaai Het Rode Leger Tien Keer Uit!

Liederen met betrekking tot de ‘Lange Mars’ (1934-1935):
– Breek De Ling Blokkade
– De Vergadering In Soen Yi Levert Een Briljant Resultaat Op
– Het Rode Leger Forceert De Doorbraak Op De Dadou Rivier
– Het Rode Leger Trekt Over De Besneeuwde Toppen En Door De Moeraslanden
– Mobiliseer Alle Eenheden!

Liederen over de herovering van China door het Rode Leger vanuit Yanan:
– Mars Van De Vrijwilligers
– Mars Van Het Breedzwaardkorps
– Lied Van Het Achtste Route Leger
– Lied Van Het Nieuwe Vierde Leger
– Het Lied Van De Guerillas
– Lied Over Het Militair En Politiek Verzet Tegen Japan
– Verdedig De Gele Rivier!
– De Hemel Boven De Bevrijde Gebieden

Liederen waarin de idealen van het communisme en de Chinese heilstaat worden bewierookt:
– Wij Bezingen Ons Moederland
– Wij Arbeiders Bezitten Alle Kracht
– Wij Marcheren Op De Hoofdweg
– De Communistische Partij Is Onze Dierbare Moeder
– Marcherend In Een Nieuw Tijdperk
– Wij Zijn De Erfgenamen Van Het Communisme

Programmatoelichting, afsluiting
Afsluitend lied:
– Een Verhaal Over De Lente

– Fragment van de ‘Internationale’ als ‘outtro’


Mesmerising overtone singing – Okna Tsagan Zam sings heroic epic Dzhangar

Epic bard and overtone-/throatsinger Okna Tsagan Zam from Kalmykia sings the heroic epic Dzhangar, a complete version. This performance is definitely one of my all time favourites. Whenever I start listening to it, I can’t get enough of it, what a treat! To me this music is sort of trance-inducing, and therefore every listening session turns out to be a very rewarding pleasant experience. I cannot speak for others, but still, I’m pretty convinced this music will proof irresistable to- and make a lasting impression on every open minded music loving listener.


Playing around India : A portrait of Dutch cellist Saskia Rao-De Haas (2002)

Playing around India – A portrait of Dutch cellist Saskia Rao-de Haas, is a radio documentary I produced in 2002. [original Dutch title: Op streek in India – een portret van de Nederlandse celliste Saskia Rao-de Haas]
The documentary is mostly in dutch, but this video offers a transcript in english locked to the timetable, in order to make this production accessible for an international audience. To allow convenient reading of this transcript, you should play the video in HD (1080p).
Production date: May-June 2002. First broadcast by Concertzender on 8 November 2002, also broadcast by Radio Netherlands on 25 and 29 December 2002. Voice narrator: Wim Vriezen.

In the documentary ‘Playing around India’ (produced May-June 2002) programme maker Pieter de Rooij introduces the career of the brilliant 31-year-old (that is, in 2002) cellist Saskia Rao-de Haas. She is one of the very few people, and the only European, to play the classical ragas of North India on the cello. She is considered the only genuine cello soloist by the Indian concert going public. Her virtuosity and deep musicality have introduced a new resonance to Indian music and have been enthusiastically receieved by critics and audiences worldwide. To achieve a proper Indian sound Saskia Rao-de Haas plays on a specially modified cello: smaller (so as to be able to be played sitting on the floor), with five instead of the usual four strings, and with ten ‘sympathetic’ strings. These freely resonating strings give a beautiful Indian sound to the cello and the instrument has quickly become very popular.
For two years (speaking from 2002) Saskia Rao-de Haas has lived in New Delhi with her husband, the famous Indian sitar player Shubhendra Rao. As well as traditional raga improvisations, she and her husband play their own compositions in which they mix classical Indian music with elements from European folkmusic and Western classical music.
In May and June 2002 Saskia and Shubhendra toured outside India when, for the first time, Western audiences were able to hear the combination of sitar and cello in Indian classical music. Programme maker Pieter de Rooij caught up with the couple in Amsterdam where they gave a concert at the KIT Tropen Theatre on 25 May. Saskia talks about her music, her cello and her life in India. Her husband Shubhendra, the violin maker Eduard van Tongeren and her former teacher at the Rotterdam Conservatory, Joep Bor, all have something to say about Saskia’s amazing cello adventure. Recordings from the Amsterdam concert are heard during the documentary.