View cart

DQM 01

Michel van der Aa

Spaces of Blank

Spaces of Blank (2007)

song cycle for mezzo-soprano, orchestra and soundtrack

  1. part I 8’30
  2. part II 9’26
  3. part III 9’09

    Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    Ed Spanjaard – conductor
    Christianne Stotijn – mezzo-soprano

  4. Mask (2006) 14’00

    for ensemble and soundtrack

    Otto Tausk – conductor

  5. Imprint (2005) 14’09

    for solo violin and Baroque Orchestra

    Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
    Gottfried von der Goltz – violin

Share this on Facebook or Twitter


€ 15.00
Price includes shipping within the EU and download MP3 version.
DownloadMP3 (320 kbps)WAV
Entire album*
€ 8,-
€ 11,-
1. Spaces of Blank: part I
€ 1,50
€ 2,-
2. Spaces of Blank: part II
€ 1,50
€ 2,-
3. Spaces of Blank: part III
€ 1,50
€ 2,-
4. Mask
€ 3,-
€ 4,-
5. Imprint
€ 3,-
€ 4,-
* Entire album download includes a PDF booklet.
Difference between MP3 and WAV formats is explained in our shop FAQ.

Liner notes

The three works on this first CD by Disquiet Media, composer, film-maker and director Michel van der Aa’s own multimedia label, together constitute a stylistic cross-section of a genre that, with its refined musical expression of conceptual first principles, has quickly gained ground both nationally and internationally. They demonstrate the scope of a vision of ‘music about music’, in which as an object of study the human being, musician or not, is just as important as musical ideas. When Van der Aa says he is not a composer of notes, he means he is not only concerned with the creative dialogue with forms and musical languages but also with the theatrical aspects of music-making, perceived with the detachment of the principled outsider who constantly asks himself what and how he sees and hears.

His attention is directed primarily to the physical and social facets of music-making: producing sound, the musician as a recreative individual, relationships between musicians, ensemble structure and the interpretative ritual per se, which in his case consistently assumes theatrical forms because human beings form the active centre point. No less essential are the aural and visual perceptions of the listener, with whom the composer plays a peculiarly serious cat-and-mouse game. Van der Aa imperceptibly transforms acoustic sounds into electronic ones, or manipulates them beyond recognition by electronic means, thus creating a sound universe that arouses a permanent state of wonder: what am I hearing, what is meant by this?

As in One, the opera After Life and The Book of Disquiet centre on characters that, thrown upon themselves, are faced with the question who they are and how they relate to their world. It is probably clear by now that only a blurred distinction exists between Van der Aa’s concert and theatre music. The solitary soprano in Here [in circles] and Here [to be found] struggles on the concert podium with the same issues as the protagonist in One: whither, wherefore? Despite their thematic material, the same holds true for the three works on this CD. Imprint, for Baroque orchestra, is seemingly the most musicianly, the ensemble piece Mask as an essay about the relationship between form and sound the most conceptual, and the song cycle Space of Blank the most dramatic, but the common denominators stand out. They deal with the lone wolf and his relationship – or absence of it – to his biotope.
- Bas van Putten (excerpt)

Share this on Facebook or Twitter

Related news


‘Spaces of Blank’ review in Musica

May 2012 5-star review of our Spaces of Blank CD in this months ‘Musica’ magazine!

Purchase a copy (hard copy or download) here.

DQM1 review Spaces of Blank

DQM 01 Spaces of Blank | Share this on Facebook or Twitter


Happy first birthday to Disquiet !

Aug 2011 Disquiet, the multimedia label set up in 2010 by Michel van der Aa, celebrated its first birthday on 28th August.

The label’s successful first year has seen its first three releases – CDs of Spaces of Blank and…

DQM 01 Spaces of Blank | Share this on Facebook or Twitter


Spaces of Blank review The Guardian

Feb 2011 4-star review in The Guardian of the ‘Spaces of Blank’ CD:
“Van der Aa persistently questions musical conventions and the accepted boundaries of the artform.”

Read review ->

DQM 01 Spaces of Blank | Share this on Facebook or Twitter


MusicWeb International

Jan 2011 Excellent reviews of the Spaces of Blank and Here Trilogy CDs on MusicWeb International

“Michel Van der Aa’s music is exciting, innovative, evocatively beautiful and accessible. It’s also highly experimental and often starts from abstract conceptions….This is a

DQM 01 Spaces of Blank | Share this on Facebook or Twitter


‘Luister’ review

Dec 2010 ‘Spaces of Blank’ and ‘Here Trilogy’ CDs receive a nice review in this months ‘Luister’ magazine.
Download PDF (Dutch, scan)

DQM 01 Spaces of Blank | Share this on Facebook or Twitter


CD giveaway for Disquiet’s online followers

Nov 2010 The first two CDs on Michel van der Aa’s Disquiet label – Spaces of Blank and Here Trilogy – have been receiving great reviews, and to celebrate the label is preparing a ‘follower giveaway’ for its online fans.

DQM 01 Spaces of Blank | Share this on Facebook or Twitter

DQM01 shoot1

CD cover photo shoot

Aug 2010 On a rainy morning in July, mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn, wearing a white dress and her face painted silver, lowers herself into the icy waters of Amsterdam’s IJmeer. That same afternoon soprano Claron McFadden finds herself surrounded by sandy hills. She…

DQM 01 Spaces of Blank | Share this on Facebook or Twitter