Chiel Meijering’s 2002 piece for ELECTRA, Heksensabbaat, was the initial inspiration behind the new program, Witches & Bitches. In his new work for ELECTRA, the composer confronts his self-professed fear of strong women. To quote Chiel Meijering: “There is always some hidden fear inside of men for strong, powerful women and ELECTRA has 4 of them!” The piece by Vanessa Lann is based on a poem by Gertrude Stein and explores the use of the microphone itself as an instrument. Crossover composer Corrie van Binsbergen expands the sound of ELECTRA in her composition by exploring the use of electronic effects together with improvisational elements. Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy approached his work for ELECTRA from not only an aural but also a visual/theatrical standpoint, working together with three Dublin-based filmmakers. He combines the forces of electric violin with distortion, recorder and electronics, a soaring voice, and a battery of percussion. The première of this piece took place during ELECTRA’s 2004 concert in New York’s Lincoln Center. The collaboration between ELECTRA and Louis Andriessen has always challenged the group to break boundaries, such as using only their voices in Shopping List of a Poisoner. In close collaboration with Andriessen and choreographer & filmmaker Betsy Torenbos, ELECTRA has created their own version of the work. The composer Jacob ter Veldhuis is known for his forceful pieces stemming from his rock-band past. He has written a series of compositions for live musicians and soundtrack, and goes further in this direction in his piece for Witches & Bitches. The rhythms and nuances of Marilyn Monroe’s recorded voice literally shape the music. Hans Asselbergs created a short, powerful composition for the program, using an intricate setup and theatrical forces while investigating the sounds of various ‘female’ attributes…. What comes first- the animation or the music? – with the gifted duo Sjeng Schupp and Michiel van Dijk (Vinex Productions), it could be one or the other. The duo bounce the two elements off of each other during the creative process, resulting in an eerily perfect fit of music and provocative animated images. Preceding the show is an electronic soundscape composed by Philemon Mukarno. ELECTRA worked closely with each of the composers throughout the composition process.