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Common Verbs

For 3 Voices and Large Ensemble


Part 1 Asking — Playing — Dancing

Part 2 Loving — Waiting — Losing

Part 3 Fighting

Common Verbs is a piece for large ensem­ble. The verbs stand for some essen­tial aspects of life. Socially, soci­o­log­i­cal­ly, psy­cho­log­i­cal and philosophical. 

Folk songs from over the world, con­nect­ed with these actions were select­ed to incor­po­rate into the piece. Is there a fair­er reflec­tion of what peo­ple care for than folk songs? They arise among peo­ple from a need and are true to them­selves and the envi­ron­ment. There is noth­ing which reflects more the imme­di­ate, the liv­ing human, the con­crete.
E.g. In Fighting, the music is built around protest songs sung dur­ing the protests in Hong Kong. They are well hid­den because they were processed vocal­ly and instru­men­tal­ly in a micro poly­phon­ic way. In Loving Waiting Losing Playing we might dis­cov­er I wish I had 2 hearts (Greece), Why are we wait­ing (Slovakia) or a Clapping song (Nigeria) etc. 


  • Composition
    Heleen Van Haegenborgh
  • Instrumentation
    voice (3), fl, ob, cl, bcl, hn, tot, perc, pf, vn, vc
  • Length
    5’01” - 12’14” - 6’43”