Dutch electronic music pioneer Dick Raaijmakers dies

Dutch composer and theorist Dick Raaijmakers died on 5 September 2013. He was 83. Raaijmakers is known as a pioneer in the field of electronic music and tape music but he has also realized numerous music theater pieces and has published many theoretical essays. Most readers will probably be familiar with the works he created as Kid Baltan.

Raaijmakers was born in Maastricht, the Netherlands and studied the piano at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. From 1954 to 1960 he worked in the field of electro-acoustic research at Royal Philips Electronics Ltd. in Eindhoven. There, using the alias Kid Baltan, he and Tom Dissevelt, under the name Electrosoniks produced works of popular music by electronic means (which turned out to be the first attempts of their kind in the world). From 1960 to 1962 he then worked at the University of Utrecht as a scientific staff member. From 1963 to 1966, together with Jan Boerman, he worked in his own studio for electronic music in the Hague. Then, from 1966 until his retirement in 1995, he worked as a teacher of Electronic and Contemporary Music at the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague and since 1991 also as a teacher of Music Theatre at the Image and Sound Interfaculty, at the same conservatory.

Dick Raaijmakers

Raaijmakers’ oeuvre covers a wide variety of genres and styles, varying from sound animations for films to extremely abstract pulse structures, from “action music” to infinite voice patterns, from electro-acoustic tableaux vivants to extracts of music theatre. He is considered as someone who combines disciplines such as visual art, film, literature and theatre with the world of music. Raaymakers has created numerous electronic compositions, “instructional pieces” for string ensembles, phono-kinetic objects, “graphic methods” for tractor and bicycle, “operations” for tape, film, theatre, percussion ensemble, museum and performance, artworks for offices and conservatory, and many soundscape compositions and music theatre productions, including some for the Holland Festival and for theatre company Hollandia.

Some of Dick Raaijmakers’ work was reissued in recent years by Dutch label Basta Audio Visuals. Check Amazon.com for ordering info.

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