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Squaring the Circle

For 4 Percussionists and Electronics. In collaboration with Johan De Wilde.


With Squaring the Circle (El Negocito Records) com­pos­er Heleen Van Haegenborgh plunges into unpre­dictabil­i­ty. She was inspired by the art­work Pi’ by Johan de Wilde, part of the col­lec­tion of the S.M.A.K. In her com­po­si­tion, she turns the num­ber sequence to her will. This with on stage four per­cus­sion­ists, elec­tron­ics and no less than 70 instru­ments, includ­ing tubu­lar bells, tim­pani, bass drums, vibra­phone, cym­bals, tri­an­gles etc.

With this work, the age-old math­e­mat­i­cal issue of the squar­ing of the cir­cle” resur­faced. This is where Pi in fact throws a span­ner in the works, musi­cal­ly caus­ing fight­ing cir­cles and squares. Thus you hear a canon of cir­cles and in oth­er places har­mon­ic or melod­ic squares.

The strug­gle for a sense of free­dom, nat­u­ral­ness and direct­ness is cen­tral to all her com­po­si­tions. By also using Pi at times for the rhyth­mic orga­ni­za­tion, a sense of unpre­dictabil­i­ty and free­dom nat­u­ral­ly aris­es. Sometimes that free­dom is not­ed tight­ly, some­times a lit­tle less tight­ly to com­plete­ly free.



  • Commissioned by
    Festival van Vlaanderen Mechelen
  • Composition & electronics
    Heleen Van Haegenborgh
  • Based upon
    The Drawings of Johan De Wilde
  • Instrumentation
    4 Percussionists and Electronics
  • Performers
    Aya Suzuki, Lucas Messler, Anita Cappuccinelli, Diego Saenz Mateo, Federico Tramontana
  • Recording
    Peter Desmedt at Studio Ledeberg
  • Mix & master
    Alex Fostier
  • Support
    S.M.A.K., VNK Percussion, Hopstreet Gallery, HAconcerts, Festival Van Vlaanderen Mechelen, Johan De Wilde, Heleen Van Haegenborgh
  • Label
    El NEGOCITO Records
  • Graphical design
    Viktor Van den Braembussche for Studio Luc Derycke
  • Premiere
    December 11, 2021 at Zindering in Nona
  • Length

PI, Johan Dewilde

© Geert Vandepoele

© Heleen van Haegenborgh

© Geert Vandepoele

© Geert Vandepoele

© Heleen van Haegenborgh

© Geert Vandoepoele

© Geert Vandepoele

© Geert Vandepoele

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Squaring the Circle

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Piece for Four Percussionists and Electronics

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Past Agenda

2023 22:00

Squaring the Circle

By Aya Suzuki, Anita Cappuccinelli, Lucas Messler and Diego Saenz Mateo

Transit Festival curated by STUK

2023 20:00

Squaring the Circle

By Aya Suzuki, Lucas Messler, Diego Saenz Mateo and Anita Cappuccinelli Support: Elisabeth Klinck

Handelsbeurs Ghent

2023 00:00

Tyfustijd at Radio Centraal

Interview met Dennis Tyfus

2021 19:00

Squaring the Circle

By Aya Suzuki Lucas Messler Federico Tramontana Anita Cappuccinelli

Nona Mechlin