Monica Germino violin / electric violin
Michaela Riener voice / keyboard
Susanna Borsch recorder / electronics
Saskia Lankhoorn piano / keyboards
About the ensemble
The all-female group ELECTRA unites internationally renowned performers in an unusual line-up with a battery of resources: violin, electric violin, voice, keyboards, recorders, percussion, effects, and electronics. Hailed by the New York Times as “viscerally thrilling…with an explosive energy”, ELECTRA is a powerful mix for a twenty-first century ensemble. Based in the Netherlands, and coming from different countries (USA, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands), ELECTRA works with established composers and discovers new collaborations, combining the latest new music with visual and theatrical elements. The ensemble performs amplified, creates highly original and critically lauded programs, and is constantly exploring new territory.
ELECTRA has performed worldwide to critical acclaim. The Daily Telegraph praised “the excellent ELECTRA ensemble” for their UK debut at the Barbican Centre. Their sold-out New York debut, presented by the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center, was met with glowing accolades from the press. At the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, critics and a capacity audience alike raved about Witches & Bitches, the captivating show that united choreographers, filmmakers, and composers. Other highlights include performances at Queen Elizabeth Hall, MASS MoCA, Agora Festival (IRCAM), Varna Summer International Festival, Pontino Festival, and the Bergen International Festival. Passionate advocates of contemporary music, ELECTRA gives workshops and master classes during their tours throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States.
Works & composers
Since the founding of ELECTRA in 1999 the group has inspired a slew of new works, including pieces by John Abram, Louis Andriessen, Hans Asselbergs, Jeremy Beck, Corrie van Binsbergen, Paul Bruinen, Cornelis de Bondt, Francesco Cilluffo, Donnacha Dennehy, David Dramm, Ron Ford, Huba de Graaff, Guus Janssen, Michèl Koenders, Vanessa Lann, Chiel Meijering, Michiel Mensingh, Barbara Okma, Belinda Reynolds, Elmer Schönberger, Jorrit Tamminga, Boudewijn Tarenskeen, Jacob TV, Vinex, Renske Vrolijk, Lucas Wiegerink, Barbara Woof, and Felix Yanov-Yanovsky. The collaboration with composer Louis Andriessen and New York filmmaker Hal Hartley resulted in the acclaimed short film The New Math(s) with ELECTRA performing the soundtrack, in a co-production of the NPS and the BBC. This film is part of the constantly developing program ELECTRA & FILM, the group’s platform for exploring new compositions in combination with live images and film.
Programming highlights include Voice & Vision, the multimedia touring program that explored the relationships of sung and spoken text, music, and images. In Witches & Bitches, ELECTRA smashed the barriers between music and performance while further sharpening the group’s unique sound. The program INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPES explored the nature of the industrial experience, incorporating distortion, electronics, video projections, and installations. ELECTRA’s Second Life, a ghostly play between illusion and reality, featured ELECTRA together with pianist Sonsoles Alonso, audio-visual artist Marcel Wierckx, and the Utrecht Composers Collective. 3-D sound, live electronics, and multiple video projections guided the audience through a labyrinth of dreams, fears, and alter egos. ELECTRA worked together with composer Renske Vrolijk to create Whirly Girls, “a thrilling show and brilliantly constructed production”, featuring five new pieces inspired by five groundbreaking women: “…pioneers in art, aviation, emancipation, the weapons industry…explosive, driving music…fascinating images…a veritable barrage of information” (De Volkskrant). ELECTRA joins forces with keyboardist Saskia Lankhoorn in their next show, RACHE (“REVENGE”), collaborating with a stellar team of theater and podium experts, with music by Boudewijn Tarenskeen. ELECTRA continues to involve composers from around the world in concert programs and multimedia projects.
CD/DVD Able to be
ELECTRA’s CD/DVD ABLE TO BE, released by Attacca Records, is a retrospective of works by a stunning mix of talented composers and filmmakers. The group has also recorded for Basta Music on Jacob TV’s SHINING CITY, Possible Films on the DVD Short Works by Hal Hartley, and Attacca Records’ Composers Portraits series on Elmer Schönberger’s MONSTERKOFFER.