Utrecht – a pilgrimage to the home of Jacob van Eyck
I took some time while at the Open Recorder days conference to make a some research trips to Utrecht, the home of Jacob van Eyck. Van Eyck was the composer of Der Fluyten Lust-hof, a collection of popular songs with variations, intended for performance on recorder. This work is still the largest single composition ever written for unaccompanied woodwind instrument, and a major source for information about performance style of the 17th century.
I toured all of the churches and the cathedral bell tower where van Eyck worked as carillonneur, and thanks to the guidance of Dr. Thiemo Wind, also found most of the houses where he lived and the location of the former public gardens where he played his recorder in the evenings.
My recent performance projects have been using the sound of the environment to create site specific concert programs and new works. So I also made a number of field recordings of the sounds we heard while exploring the town of Utrecht, for use in a new concert featuring the works of van Eyck.