News: March, 2009

An eventful morning... selected for ISCM World New Music Days

Robert’s concerto for violin and chamber orchestra An Eventful Morning Near East London has been selected for performance at the ISCM World New Music Days in Sweden. After a national call for submissions, the piece was selected to represent South Africa alongside a number of other works. The WNMD takes place in three cities in Sweden (Visby, Vaxjo and Goteborg/Vastra Goteland) this year between 24 September and 4 October.

Review: Flights into Darkness: Jacqueline du Pre Music Building, Oxford

Tom Frankland (actor) and Jakob Fichert (piano)

Oxford Daily Info 30.03.2009

Based on Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray and supposedly taking it’s name from Flight into Darkness by Austrian author Arthur Schnitzler, Flights into Darkness is a highly original production devised by Tom Frankland, Jakob Fichert and Robert Fokkens that combines both musical and spoken dramatics.

Whilst Pianist Jakob Fichert seats himself at the grand piano stationed on one side of the stage, Tom Frankland marches to centre stage and launches almost immediately into a booming philosophical monologue of the sort that Wilde was renowned for. This set up remains in place throughout the piece as Frankland weaves his animated way between the works of both Wilde and Schnitzler with such power and stage presence that it is almost impossible not to be completely enthralled by his performance. As for Jakob Fichert, he succeeds in keeping up with Frankland’s fast-paced ranting and also the more pensive moments and sets the atmosphere with his piano accompaniment, which serves to dial up and then relieve tension whenever necessary.

As Flights into Darkness is a collaborative piece of music and drama, the musical score itself plays an integral part. Fokkens’ original score compliments the production perfectly, signalling the dripping blood from one imagined victim before rushing into panicked movements as Frankland’s character descends into madness.

...At one point, Frankland leaps from the stage and charges into the audience, as Fichert stands from his seat, thus turning the theatre into a courtroom, the audience into jury members and Fichert into a judge as Frankland stands on trial for murder. Although this imaginative use of the audience is very pleasing, it does come as quite a surprise and leaves one wondering what exactly is going on with the plot!

All in all, the sheer originality and guts of the piece make it well worth seeing...

Sounds Underground in Oxford

The second performance of Flights into Darkness, devised by Robert Fokkens with Tom Frankland (actor/narrator) and Jakob Fichert (piano) is presented by Sounds Underground at the Jacqueline du Pre Hall in Oxford.

Friday 27 March at 7.30pm

Jacqueline du Pre Hall, St Hilda’s, Oxford


Sounds Underground at the Warehouse

Actor Tom Frankland and pianist Jakob Fichert collaborate with Robert Fokkens on Flights into Darkness - a darkly theatrical work based on two of the most fascinating and disturbing fin-de-siecle novellas. The event, presented by Sounds Underground, takes place at one of London’s top chamber music venues, The Warehouse.

The Warehouse, Theed Street, London

Tuesday 24 March 2009 at 7.30pm


Clockwise in San Francisco

Clockwise continue their US tour with a performance at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley, San Francisco. They present a programme of mostly South African works written for them between 2007 and 2008, including Robert Fokkens’s approach, encounter.

Thursday 12 March at 8.00pm

142 Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley, San Francisco, California

Tickets $15 and $10

Clockwise at The Stone, New York

Harp and violin duo Clockwise (Jacqueline Kerrod, harp and Marc Uys, violin) perform at John Zorn’s New York venue The Stone. They present a set of South African pieces written for them over the past two years, including Robert Fokkens’s approach, encounter.

3 March 2009 from 8.00-9.00pm

The Stone, Cnr Avenue C and East 2nd Street, New York

Tickets are $10 per set, tickets only available on the door