Serge Verstockt

Serge Verstockt

Serge Verstockt studied music theory, clarinet and electronic music at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp. In 1983 he studied at the 'Instituut voor Sonologie' in Utrecht with Godfried Michael Koenig where he concentrated on formal compositional methods and developed the program Trans.

In 1988 he founded the ensemble ChampdAction which would devote particular attention to new technological developments: live electronics, interactive computerised works, etc.

In the 1990's, with the computer as a catalyst, imagery began to become a constant factor in his work and this resulted in a long-standing collaboration with architect Werner Van dermeersch. In 2000 they jointly realised Screens, a multimedia performance in which music and image were intrinsically airborne loudspeakers.

In 2007 Verstockt composed the music for the production Requiem für eine Metamorphose by Jan Fabre and Troubleyn. He toured with this production at the festivals of Salzburg and Ruhr Triënnale. Performances were also held in Vilnius.

In his more recent work, Verstockt has collaborated with musicians from a range of disciplines: free-jazz musicians, heavy metalgrunters, human beatboxers, noise-makers... seeking to give a new impulse to the somewhat rigid 'contemporary classical' music scene. Drie, for four percussionists, six 60's years organs and rudimentary beatboxing, unchained clarinets, piercing electric guitar and heavy electro-beats was enthusiastically received by audience and press alike.

In 2008 Serge Verstockt was commissioned by Bl!ndman (Saxophone Quartet) to create a composition for Champ d’Action and Bl!ndman. This resulted in Twisted Pair, a large-scale ensemble work featuring elements such as Tibetan horns and electronics. Twisted Pair has since been performed in Antwerp, Brussels and Bruges and in winter 2009 a revised version will be performed at the museum Reina Sofia in Madrid.

In late 2009 Verstockt's multimedia production Voix Instrumentalisée will premiere at the festival Made in Gent. The work will subsequently be performed in Antwerp, Amsterdam and Bruges. Other future projects include a new composition with deScheldezonen (concert band) and electronics at deSingel in Antwerp (Spring 2010), a composition for ChampdAction and the guitar quartet ZWERM (Winter 2010), the project Rencontres in collaboration with Josse De Pauw and a new production in collaboration with CREW, the multimedia theatre company by Eric Joris.

FINGERFERTIGKEIT - L' égalité des doigts, written in 2012, would be a next step in the oeuvre of  Serge Verstockt: ‘classical’ and ‘new’ instruments in dialogue with each other. Every performer of FINGERFERTIGKEIT was asked to select three of their favourite studies for instrument. The musical material of the composition was solely derived from these studies. During the performance the musicians were accompanied by two iPads, challenging the instruments with their virtual possibilities.

In 2013 Hold Your Horses - Grand opera de trash premièred in deSingel in Antwerp. This is the first opera of Verstockt and tells the story of brutal confrontation with a fragmentary world teetering between virtuality and reality. In the libretto, adapted from the 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action by Gene Sharp, assemblages of nature and a culture of divas and avatars are flirting with each other.

Productions with Serge Verstockt

Production Function
Canticum Canticorum - (Season 2018-2019)Artistic direction | Concept | Mucic | Visuals
Canticum Canticorum - (Season 2017-2018)Artistic direction | Concept | Mucic | Visuals