Next Wave 2
Higher Education Artist Development Project

Maya VerlaakMaya Verlaak

Maya Verlaak (1990) was born in Gent, Belgium.

Maya Verlaak studied at the composition and sonology departements in The Hague conservatoire, Netherlands. Maya was studying composition with Calliope Tsoupaki, Gilius Van Bergeijk, Peter Adriaansz and Diderik Haakma Wagenaar. She left Holland and travelled to Birmingham conservatoire to study with Michael Wolters and Howard Skempton. She is currently living back in The Hague. She makes her own instruments/ installations, writes pieces for them and is currenly doing a research into "forgotten" instruments, made between 1200-1800: "Reinvent forgotten instruments". She also composes for fixed media and classical instruments; ensemble music, orchestral music or solo instruments and likes to incorporate theatrical elements in her compositions. She wrote pieces for Ensemble Modelo 62, Ensemble Klang, Rosa Ensemble, Slagwerkgroep Den Haag, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Thallein Ensemble, Praetorius Ensemble, Richard Barrett ensemble Den Haag, VU-Amsterdam Chamber orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Acid Police Noise Ensemble… and solo pieces for Janet Forbes, Robert de Bree, Leo Svirsky and Christian Schmitt. In 2012-2013 she was composer in residence at Stichting Grasland, Haarlem and at Vrije Academie Den Haag, Netherlands. "During my rehearsals with London Sinfonietta, Richard Baker and Richard Rijnvos – who had both studied composition in The Hague– remarked that I was a product of the Hague. I took this to be a criticism and answered in protest, “Though I studied in The Hague composition department, I never agreed with any of the teachers; I was constantly arguing with them, I felt I had my own way of composing. After making these remarks, I reflected further on the issue. Though I do not write music in the style of the ”Haagse school”, I definitely have a Hague attitude. Looking back over on my pieces, there is a sustained sense of protest and critique running throughout my work. This combative attitude is the most obvious in my piece Kidnapping curator Ed McKeon. However, this "protest" attitude shouldn't always be taken so literally, the most important part in my pieces is the act of reflection which can cause a protest piece but is not the only direction it can take."

Maya is a founder-member and Artistic Director of Acid Police Noise Ensemble.


Read Maya's blog for NMC here.


Photo: Stuart Leech


Maya Verlaak on Next Wave