For the Utrechtse Studenten Cantorij I did the photography and graphics design for their marketing campaign for their upcoming program: Mirage.
An open en curious feeling dominates the picture, whereas the white, overflowing circle depicts the mirage. Is it actually there? The porgramme is a combination of Dutch and Iranian compositions, both old and newly written or discovered.
two very dear friends of mine are getting married. All dressed up I entered the city hall with them. Turns out the wedding is at the same kind of desk you’d get your ID renewed in the spacious central hall. It has a somewhat comedic effect and our small group (just the to-be-weds and witnesses) definitely lighten up the space. Overdressed, overjoyed and just a little bit out of place – it was a very special moment.
Just after signing we all went out the historic city center of Utrecht. Let’s just say I was very glad I took my camera and my favourite vintage lens (Canon FD 50mm f/1.4) with me! It’s a manual lens, which means that every shot has to be carefully focussed by hand, just like the old days. However, every shot that comes out correctly focussed and well framed is extremely rewarding. See for yourself!
A new camera, a vintage lens and a willing subject. Out we went. Into the park, looking for those settings you’d usually pay no mind to. I recently saw a video on unexpectedly beautiful backgrounds for portraits, and my friend has a very keen eye for framing and composition, I envy her for that.
Yes, I did recently watch the movie “Portrait de la jeune fille en feu”, or Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Yes, my friend speaks french. I assure you those facts have nothing to do with these portraits. Really.
From 2020 onwards I design the promotional materials for the Utrechtse Studenten Cantorij, such as posters and flyers for their concerts.
The assignment is a new and interesting challenge for my skills to combine photography with graphical elements to create a uniform style which continues through the different iterations of the posters.
I am part of the Dutch Chamberchoir’s talent development programme, NKK NXT. I contributed to the project in many ways: I’m one of the eight singers, had a share in the concept, wrote new choral music for the choir, designed the marketing material and shared in the marketing tasks.
NKK NXT was tasked with one thing: create the choral performance of the future. For half a year with seven others Sem worked together on the concept. The result is “I Want To Be Like You”, a performance that blurs the line between what is real and fake by envisioning what role technology will have in the future of choral music. For the concept “Alex Inc.” was created, an AI wanting to be human, using the singers of NKK NXT 18/19 to find what it is to be truly human in a series of simulations.
NKK NXT 18/19 performed multiple times, including a sold out three-day concert series in Het Huis Utrecht and multiple festivals. For upcoming dates, check the concerts page.
Photography by Veerle Basitaanssen and Sem Hak.
In 2017 together with writer and mezzo-soprano Elea Bekkers I founded “Staatsgreep”, an art collective focussed on radical new art. With Staatsgreep Elea and I want to take modern art out of high-society theatres and operahouses and bring it to the audience instead. By adressing modern issues in a confronting yet accessible way STAATSGREEP makes art part of modern-day society again.
Staatsgreep is currently working on multiple projects. Our most ambitious project is a music-theater piece in three acts called “Zij die Achterbleven”, or “Those who were left behind”. This operatic triptych tells the stories of two individuals who, through each-others fate, lose grip on reality. “Zij die Achterbleven” combines music, theater and dance into one artwork, making it a true gesamtkunstwerk. The first act “De Man die afdreef op de Zee”, or “The man who drifted off at sea”, premièred at my final examn in composition in 2017. Currently work has started on the third act.
In 2018 we launched a clothing line by the name of “Gay Cult” consisting only of second-hand clothing and fabrics and making them into new pieces. The various designed prints, varying from “consume” to “family disappointment”, target the growing consumerism crisis worldwide, while also aiming to shine a light on “cults”, minority groups which by popular media have gained a negative or wrong image such as the LGBT+ community.