On the composition Sunyata of Wim Henderickx, we follow a man surveying his life through a series of suggestive meditative images.


Muziektheater Transparant presents VOID, a joint creation by composer Wim Henderickx, visual artist Hans Op de Beeck and director Wouter van Looy.


In VOID, Henderickx realises his composition Sunyata (Emptiness), an inner quest for meaning and religion inspired by eastern and western mystique. His new composition is written for five singers, five instruments and electronics. The musical structure of Sunyata, part four of Wim Henderickx´ Tantric Cycle, is provided by the Buddhist Shri Yantra, an abstract geometric figure for meditation and the development of the conscious mind. The Shri Yantra comprises geometric figures such as the circle, the triangle and the square, each of which has a symbolic meaning. Wim Henderickx combines this mandala with five primordial elements linked to the singers – earth, water, fire, air and ether. The four elements are embodied by two soprano and two baritone singers. A vocal artist represents the ether. The sequence of geometric figures, with the primordial elements acting as a counterpoint, determines the musical development.

The musical ensemble comprises a flute, clarinet, violin, cello and trombone, with additional electronics. Both live electronic music and sampled material is used. The geometric figures are located in space by means of spatialisation, by projecting the sound through loudspeakers as, for example, a circle or a point. The score is in an abstract idiom which the composer has developed mathematically and which is made up of randomly ordered syllables and sounds derived from the Latin requiem mass. Through several meditative phases and elementary reflections, the score leads to a total state of being, a spiritual enlightenment.


Director Wouter Van Looy approaches the theme of consciousness and identity from a Western point of view. He was inspired by the possibilities and borders of recent neurophysiologic research into the consciousness, and texts and poems by Fernando Pessoa. Through a series of suggestive meditative images, we follow a man surveying his life. Sitting in the middle of his manuscripts, silent witnesses of his finished life work. Stucked in his scientific research on consciousness and confronted with the void.

Around the older man, four abstracted characters express a universal temperament, parallel to the music. One moment they instinctively express their feelings, and the next they seek a distance and position themselves outside the house in an attempt to put their relationships into perspective. Shifting between being and consciousness.


Suppressed anger, open beauty rarefied as air, dreamy associative creativity, earthy harmony – they mirror the unconsciousness of the man in the house, who restlessly roves about his inner world, and gradually seems to silence his thoughts, to rein his ego, and orientate towards emptiness. 


Hans Op de Beeck’s visual concept is manifest in a monumental architectural space, a three-dimensional foundation of a house reduced to its rudiments. A house as if under construction or falling into ruin; with open rooms, and closed rooms. As a metaphor for the identity of modern man. As a mental space into which moving images and layers of meaning are projected. Glittering ripples, swirling chaos, neurophysiological sketches weave a layered texture around the singers in the house. They link the inner world to concrete reality.

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VOID is produced by Muziektheater Transparant and coproduced by DeSingel and Stavanger Cultural Capital of Europe 2008, in association with the Concertgebouw Bruges, Zürcher Theaterspektakel and Oxalys. 

No dates available

Set Design: Hans Op de BeeckChoreography: Vivian Cruz • Musical performance: Oxalys Ensemble Musical direction: Wim HenderickxComposition: Wim HenderickxDirection: Wouter Van Looy