Darkness Rises

Pioneer 10's journey

On January 22nd 2003 NASA established final contact with 'Pioneer 10’, a space probe launched in 1972. In a macrocosm that exceeds our imagination of distance and time, a transmission sent over 12 billion kilometers not only mark the last we have seen of Pioneer 10, but somehow it is also the last it has seen of us. Set to travel through the vast emptiness for the next 2 million years -craned with the finest of 70s technology- Pioneer 10 is one of the most distant remains of human presence and might be the first to reach new stellar objects.


Buy the debut album of TEMKO's Darkness Rises HERE

Darkness Rises
It is this slow farewell that inspired Aart to write Darkness Rises; a translation of technology and space itself into music. A 30 year-long radio transmission of Pioneer 10's journey towards the unknown, comprehended into a 50-minute experience, including a sonification of the last dataset from Pioneer 10 ever to be received and a video tailor made by Dries Alkemade, fitting the piece as a glove.

Click HERE if you want to learn more about Darkness Rises

Quartet and Orchestral version
The original composition for quartet was commissioned by Intro in Situ and the Sonic Skills department of University Maastricht. The orchestral version is a commission by Philharmonie Zuid Nederland.

Watch our Darkness Orchestral Live Registration below

Lunar - by TEMKO


We play guitar, bass, and drum kit - the same instrumentation used in many traditional jazz trios. But it’s impossible to say where our new project Lunarfits within the jazz pantheon, if it even fits in there at all.

For 80 continuous minutes, we invert minimalism into seamless industrial, torturing our instruments (and freshly built noise-machines) by playing as few notes as humanly possible. Melodic content seems to be harmonic loops and ubiquitous dovetailing rhythms are confusingly simple.

With obsessive precision the polyrhythms of Fred’s bass and pieces of wood played by Ramon lap each other until Aart connects all the pulses on a prepared guitar. Being in sync without ever being in sync resulting in a kind of pseudo-spiritual sonic universe, until it all segways into new orbits.

Who would have thought an acoustic trio could sound so far from what it looks like. Almost completely hidden in darkness, loud, relentless, and yet so relaxing.

Click HERE to get to know more about LUNAR

TEMKO plays (with) Terry Riley's Shri Camel

After the succes of Rainbow in Curved Air, Terry Riley fans had to wait for over 11 years before Shri Camel was released. An incredible reoccurrence of virtuosic keyboard parts but with a special feature - just intonation. An answer on one of the many technological developments of the ’70’s: the programmable synthesizer. Shri Camel is hardly ever performed by anyone other than Terry Riley and - because of the tuning - never before on instruments like guitar, bass and vibraphone.

TEMKO also commissioned Anthony Fiumara, Kate Moore and Nik Bärtsch to write responses on Riley's Shri Camel. We hope to have all the new pieces ready in may 2018. 


Building new instruments
Every single improvised note is unraveled, written out and rearranged for a unheard ensemble consisting of newly developed instruments for this piece. Adams Musical Instruments built a special vibraphone in just intonation tuning for the piece. Aart has build the just intonation guitars for Fred and himself. Quite a challenge as the keys of the vibraphone are shortened or lengthened and the frets of the guitars are moved...

Tuned marble, stone and wood bring this digital hallmark alive... analog.

Click HERE to learn more about TEMKO's Shri Camel

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Watch our Preview of the program here, live at Muziekgebouw aan het IJ Amsterdam. 

Tannhauser - by TEMKO

For many Tannhäuser refers to Richard Wagner’s emponymous opera, written in 1842. In the version made by TEMKO, two highlights from the highly romantic opera are used as an inspiration.

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First of all the ouverture has been put under a magnifying glass. The musical elements from the first 90 seconds are heavily stretched, reorganized and recomposed into a thirty-five minute minimal trip. In part two TEMKO investigated the 13th century manuscript of Tannhauser and found a miraculous text about manslaughter. Wagner refers only once to this moment halfway the second act, where Elisabeth sings about ‘den Todesstoß’. This essential point in the opera is being re-used by TEMKO as a complete new universe. A timeless sonic fog that no one can escape...

Two bassguitars, two big concert bass drums, shakers, a percussion setup, prepared piano and a gigantic tamtam create the sounds which directly seem to come from the underworld.

Ghosts I-IV - Nine Inch Nails - by TEMKO

Trent Reznor is known as one of the hardest working and most creative musicians, songwriters and sound- designers in recent Rock-History. His band NIN has become a synonym for accessible industrial music, uniting pop-influences like Depeche Mode and New- Order, the heaviness of Ministry and the avantgardism of Einstürzende Neubauten, Throbbing Gristle and Kraftwerk.

Amongst millions of sold records, Ghosts I-IV is a lesser- known album exclusively featuring instrumental music. Like a sketchbook of minimalistic grooves, melodies and dark ambiences, it gives more insight into what Reznor's music sounds like, before it is polished.

We are looking forward to give our own spin to a selection of tracks from an album, that has re-entered our cd- player time and again since we started TEMKO. To make it happen, we will be supported by our friend Kamil Zawislak (PL) on piano and synths.

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Nora Fischer ft. TEMKO

Giudecca & Naipauls wanderer

Giudecca was written for a duo with Nora Fischer. The work is based on Dante’s Inferno and follows the journey of Dante through Hell.

“The libretto is a strict selection of Dante’s text, only the parts that gave an insight in the scenery are used. Without any persons and encounters all that rest in Giudecca is an orchestrated ‘film-set’, captivating, alarming and obsessive.”

The piece was premiered at November Music Festival 2016.

Naipauls Wanderer was written for Nora Fischer and TEMKO after a successful duo I had with her on November Music in 2016. The duo piece, Giudecca, with multitrack steel string guitar parts and her voice asked for a follow up. When a good friend asked me to write a new piece for the birthday of his wife I decided to write a piece for TEMKO and Nora. This became Naipaul’s Wanderer. 6 songs based on small quotes and random snippets from Naipaul’s rich output.

In 2018 the song cycle will be available on cd and digital platforms.

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TEMKO plays Bosch requiem

Memorial Park - by Anthony Fiumara

World premiere by TEMKO, Holland Baroque and Netherlands Chamber Choir conducted by Mathieu Romano at Theater aan de Parade Den Bosch on 2nd of November 2017.

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November Music continues the tradition of the Hieronimus Bosch manifestation by commissioning festival composer Anthony Fiumara to write a new requiem. Three of his favourite ensembles perform Memorial Park. Namely, the Netherlands Chamber Choir, Holland Baroque, and TEMKO with Aart Strootman on guitar, Fred Jacobsson on Bass and Ramon Lormans on mallets and drums under the baton of Mathieu Romano. Fiumara’s compositions are characterised by a pure beauty that is timeless. The well-known Dutch author Désanne van Brederode, who tends to subtly weave philosophical and topical affairs into her texts, has written a splendid and poetic libretto. The Belgian actor and master narrator Peter De Graef puts the human soul under the magnifying glass and does so with humour and compassion. Visual artist Marianne van Heeswijk has created a work specifically for this night in which the audience is invited to participate from 8 PM onwards on the square in front of the theatre. Madeleine Matzer and Jur van der Lecq (Matzer Theaterproducties) designed the mise-en-scène.


TEMKO - S T A R G A Z E - aXolot

by Aart Strootman

As a member of TEMKO we have the pleasure that Aart Strootman is in our midst, composing one after another piece of great music. After him being nominated for the Gaudeamus award in 2017 he had different interviews and talks with the organizers of the festival. Programmer Martijn Buser asked Aart what pieces could be performed next to the nominated Requiem Apoidea and the new piece he would write for ensemble in residence Kluster5.

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The choice they made was a revision of a piece he made earlier for baroque ensemble and three recorders solo. The new title, Nyctophilia is based on a quote by Allen Edgar Poe: “Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”

With the string orchestra of S T A R G A Z E and the recorder trio aXolot, TEMKO is added for some irregular polyrhythmic grooves.