Daan Janssens: (…dans son presque silence…)

(Submitted by ISCM – FLEMISH SECTION)

Daan Janssens (born in Bruges in 1983) studied composition at the Ghent Conservatory with Frank Nuyts, Godfried-Willem Raes and Filip Rathé. He visited several international composition seminars and master classes. Since October 2016, he has taught composition and orchestration at the Royal Conservatory Ghent. Janssens has collaborated with both Belgian and international ensembles and soloists, such as SPECTRA, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Aton & Armide, Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles, Gulbenkian Orchestra Lisbon, I Solisti and Thomas E. Bauer and his music has been performed at the TRANSIT festival, Ars Musica, Festival Musica Strasbourg, De Singel, Concertgebouw Brugge, Operadagen Rotterdam, and De Munt/La Monnaie. Since 2008, Janssens has collaborated intensively with LOD, a Ghent-based music theatre production house. In 2012, he presented his first opera, Les Aveugles, after Maurice Maeterlinck, in collaboration with Patrick Corillon. In April 2017, his second opera was premièred, Menuet, after a novel by Louis Paul Boon, with stage direction by Fabrice Murgia.

(…dans son presque silence…) (2014) was commissioned by the Flanders Symphony Orchestra. The composer writes, “I was asked to refer in one way or another to literature in general (the orchestra’s year theme), or Shakespeare specifically (as Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream was performed at the same concert). When I think of Shakespeare, I immediately have in mind Kenneth Branagh’s movie Hamlet, which I saw in the Bruges cinema back in 1996. I was only 13 at the time, but the movie made a huge impression on me. For this composition, I took Hamlets last words as a starting point for a (personal) musical dramaturgy: The rest is silence. The ‘almost’ dying of Hamlet: ‘dans son presque silence’.”

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