musicians from across europe – music without borders


25 June 2018 | 19:30 | Oriental Landscapes Festival | amstelkerk, amsterdam

oriental landscapes


monday 25 june | 20:00 | amstelkerk, amsterdam


Oene van Geel Carte Blanche:

Ode to Istanbul


Istanbul has many faces. For decades it has been a melting pot of cultures and today modern life and old traditions are different sides of the same coin. In its music you can find anything ranging from the old folkloric music of the Constantinople times to the latest developments in the use of electronics. The decision was to play an ode to the many faces of Istanbul.


The heart of the performance will be a new composition by Oene van Geel. It has poems about Istanbul by Orhan Veli Kanik, Nazim Hikmet, Sanem Kalfa and Ümit Yasar Oguzcan at its core.


It makes it even more special the Oguz Buyukberber and Sanem Kalfa really know the city from the inside. Oguz grew up there and Sanem lived there for a longer period. And for the rest of us: the city mesmerized us and gave us experiences we will never to forget.



Oene van Geel - 5 string viola

Sanem Kalfa – vocals

Oguz Buyukberber - clarinets

George Dumitriu – viola/ guitar

James Oesi – double bass

Udo Demandt – (oriental) percussion


This special program will focus on Syrian composers of today. The ensemble will premiere Shafi Badderdin's Sigah alongside works by Nouri Iskander, Kareem Roustom and Zaid Jabri.


The concert will feature Oriental Time, a newly conceived art work by award-winning video artist Geert Mul. The collaboration between the ensemble and Geert Mul seeks to cross the boundaries between artistic media, connecting live performance with video and installation art.




Shafi Badreddin - Sigha

Zaid Jabri – Glyptos 2

Nouri Iskandar - Oriental miniature

Kareem Roustom – Buhur


Visual performance

The visual arts performance is structured around a photograph of Palmyra, Syria taken in March 2017. Three perspectives of time and their contextual affects are the subjects of the project Oriental Time. These will be presented on screen accompanied by music:


Nature-time: The clouds, the sky, night and day. They represent the timescale of nature that is super-human. From that perspective, human suffering, construction and destruction are just non descriptive.


Archeological-time: The old site of Palmyra: The age of this site defies many of our daily cultural perspectives of time. From this perspective construction and destruction, war and peace, love and hate are as present as night and day. Things come and things go. That is the natural human condition.


Actual-time: Traces of recent ISIL destruction. This brings on an actual time perspective, a perspective of actuality, morality, culture, art, politics, ethics, death, destruction, loss, suffering and survival in all its horror, pain and beauty.





> buy tickets here

Oriental landscapes

The Oriental Landscapes festival and conference took place twice in Syria before the crises. Since 2017 the festival was launched in the Netherlands in five different cities. Last year, New European Ensemble performed three times in Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht, Paard The Hague and Muziekgebouw aan het IJ, Amsterdam.


Follow us on:

New European Ensemble is supported by Fonds Podiumkunsten (from 2017) and the city of The Hague