CeBeDeM

CeBeDeM

index
of affiliated composers

PRENGELS, Steven

Born in 1978, Steven Prengels studied from 1996-2003 at the Lemmens Institute, where he obtained the degree Master of Music, and the University of Leuven. From 2003 to 2007, he pursued his studies at the Royal Antwerp Conservatoire where he graduated with a Master of Composition in Wim Henderickx’s class and a diploma of Counterpoint and Fugue with Peter Thomas. From 2007 till 2009 he studied composition at the Amsterdam conservatoire, and again obtained the title of Master of Composition in June 2009 (maxima cum laude).

As a conductor and composer, he has been active in several musical productions in Belgium and the Netherlands between 2004 and 2007.

In 2004, he won the award for “Most Original Composition by a Young Belgian Composer” at the International Flanders Film Festival for his soundtrack of the silent film “Le Reveil Tam Tam” (1906) which was performed by the “Vlaams Radio Orkest” and “de Filharmonie” conducted by Dirk Brossé.

In 2007, he recieved the first prize for “New Music 2007” presented by the Gouvernment of East Flanders for his piece “Festschrift” for piano solo and ensemble.

Commissioned by the Royal Antwerp Conservatoire and the “Spectra” ensemble in 2005, he wrote “Requiem ohne Worte”. His work “Circular Breathing”, written in collaboration with the Royal Antwerp Conservatoire and the Higher Institute for Dance and Dance Teaching demonstrates a broad interest in various art forms. In this context, he also composed “10 miniatures”, in collaboration with the painter Marnik Baert for the exhibition “Ecce Homo” (2004).

In 2008 the Chamber Orchestra of Belgium premiered his “Konstellation”, commissioned by the conductor and founder of this orchestra, Ben Haemhouts (deSingel Antwerp, April 2008).

A major turning point in his artistic output is the multi-layered theatre composition EXHIBITION, Sept Tableaus de/sur/pour ‘La Mariée mise à nu par ses Célibataires, même’ de Marcel Duchamp, written between July and November 2008, and premiered in Aalter (B) and Amsterdam in June 2009 (See Notes: Exhibition). In this complex and elaborate composition (written for a woman, nine men, bass trombone and tape) the clear bounderies between sound, language and action seem to disappear.

A key element in some of his recent work is stripping existing sound-, text-, or visual material of its original context or content (or combining and transforming them), thus creating new works of art bearing new meanings and layers. Exemplary of these working processes are Contrapunctus per Augmentationem et Diminutionem (using Duchamp’s ‘The Creative Act’ and Joseph Beuys’s sound sculpture JaJaJa NeeNeeNee), Visite Guidée Mâlique (a rendition into French of three pages of Joyce’s Finnigans Wake), Held (a ‘readymade’ soundtrack, based on the Bass Trombone part of Wagner’s Siegfried, for Hendrik Lebon’s short movie Held), To Be is to Be the Value of a Bound Variable (a painting based on Duchamp and the philosophy of Willard Van Orman Quine) and MANIFESTA (after James Joyce and John Cage).

In June 2010 Gardenia (Les Ballets C de la B) started its international tour in Ghent. The musical soundscape for this remarkable theatre performance by Alain Platel and Frank Van Laecke was compiled and composed by Steven Prengels.

works

  • Exhibition, 2009
    one woman, nine men, basstrombone and tape 00:50:00
  • Konstellation, 2007
    chamber orchestra 00:07:00