Karel Stulens: EXPIRED

February 7, 2024 / ISCM – FLEMISH SECTION

Karel Stulens (b. 1997) is a Ghent-based composer of new arts and music. His works range from
orchestral and chamber works, mainly with performative and multi-media components, to
interactive video’s. Research and questions on stereotypes, traditionalism and institutional
mechanisms are his foundations of creating new work. Stules sees the concept of composing as
working with components: his work is often communicative with the global archive, phenomenons
from our contemporary society as well as found footage (mainly from the internet). In 2018, Karel
Stulens was the first selected composer of the SOV Composer’s Academy of Flanders Symphony
Orchestra. With this selection came the creation of his first orchestra piece EXPIRED. In 2019, he was
one of the selected composers to write a new piece for The Interstring Project at the Crossroads
International Festival of Contemporary Music, Salzburg. In 2020, his orchestra piece EXPIRED was
selected to represent the Flemish region at the World Music Days in New Zealand. Karel Stulens
participated in many different courses e.a. the Darmstädter Ferienkurse, ChampdAction.LaBO,
Musiques et Recherces,… and masterclasses by among others Lisa Streich, Johannes Kreidler,
Raphael Cendo, Lucia Ronchetti, Marco CIiciliani and Oscar Bettinson. In 2020, he finished his master
degree in composition at KASK & Conservatorium Ghent with the guidance of Dr. Daan Janssens.

EXPIRED is a first step towards a personal research in the relevance of tradition and traditional forms
in our contemporary, musical climate. The piece can be seen as an abstract miniature which
functions as a dialogue between Beethoven’s infamous ninth symphony and the personal questions
Stulens dealt with about writing an orchestra piece in 2018.