Music for a performance by Lily&Janick

1. Utopia
2. Escallation
3. Dystopia
4. Point of No Return

cd/dl/stream, September 2023

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Kaleiding is the debut show of the contemporary circus company Lily&Janick. It's a play between light, reflections and new perspectives onto partner acrobatics. With a long mirror that lays on the floor, images are getting created that hypnotize – like watching an everyday life situation through a kaleidoscope. This distorted reality invites into a decelerated world where up is down and down is up. Kaleiding is a movement based show working on the border between dance, circus and visual arts.



Rutger Zuydervelt, based in Schiedam (Netherlands), is a composer/producer/musician and sound artist, who has been active for over 20 years and a discography of over 50 albums, whether solo, in duo/groups, in collaboration with other artists and in compilations, encompassing ambient, noise and drone subgenres. He uses techniques such as field recordings and electroacoustic explorations.
Zuydervelt is known as Machinefabriek. Additionally, he works also in the fields of film music and dance.

Zuydervelt composed "Kaleiding", a score for a performance by the contemporary dance/circus duo Lily&Janick. This work combines dance, circus and visual arts. Its aesthetic proposal; the lighting, dance and visual effects produced through a mirror placed on the floor of the stage - where they dance in pairs - providing a visual effect. It seems as if the dancers are hovering into space.

“Kaleiding” opens with “Part 1 – Utopia” where airy synth textures are deployed that stealthily move through the waters of ambient. “Part 2 – Escallation” shows rhythmic pulsations that increase in crescendo as the song progresses with nods with minimal techno, where the bodies move with agility and ease.

In “Part 3 – Dystopia” layers are developed consisting of a fine synthesized line like a drone, Vacillating waves and noises of objects colliding with each other in a slowed way, producing a disturbing atmosphere. “Part 4 - Point of No Return” moves through rhythmic territories that are in tune with “Part 2…”, albeit with a less galloping beat.

“Kaleiding” is spatiality, movement, plasticity that dialogues with calm and disturbing music, as well as stimulating and uplifting ambience.

Vital Weekly

Lily&Janick is a contemporary circus company, which seems to be without clowns (luckily, as they scare me), as I read, "It's a play between light, reflections and new perspectives onto partner acrobatics. With a long mirror that lays on the floor, images are getting created that hypnotize – like watching an everyday life situation through a kaleidoscope". I haven't seen this, so I can't comment on that side of the thing. Zuydervelt composed a fine soundtrack that works well as a standalone piece of music, all four of them. The CD opens with 'Utopia', the longest of the four pieces, and a rather beautiful piece of ambient music. Mellow synthesizer sounds, some looped guitar sounds, and it all flows most naturally. Then, in 'Escalation', Zuydervelt opens up more electronic sounds, also from the side of rhythm machines, and the outcome is a rather fine ambient house sort of music, very much like the last one, 'Point Of No Return', which sees him going further into the world of dance music. It's almost techno-like and works well as music for movement. In between, there was 'Dystopia', a more ambient piece again, a mirror of 'Utopia', of course, the darker side of ambient. Rhythm plays a role as much as Zuydervelt uses field recordings of a demolition site. Two times, the two pieces seem quite apart, but it makes a very consistent album; as said, it also works fine as a standalone album.


Zuydervelt is no stranger to composing scores, most often for dance performances. Kaleiding (a non-existing and untranslatable word) is scored for the performance of ‘contemporary circus company’ Lily&Janick (no spaces). Viewing the teaser video on the Bandcamp page this is close to a dance performance, but it it is more than that: ‘Kaleiding is a movement-based show working on the border between dance, circus and visual arts’.

The score for this performance is, in Rutger’s own words, a ‘mixed bag’. The opening track Utopia, with almost 19 minutes the longest on the album, is a quiet, slowly evolving ambient piece that has a lot in common with Halfslaap (‘semi-sleep’, from 2010). Which along with Halfslaap II is one of my favorite releases in Machinefabriek‘s catalog, and will probably most appeal to the ambient audience.

But Escallation, the second track, will pull you out of your ambient slumber with ‘the closest I [Rutger] ever came to creating a techno track’. Not the kind of techno you’ll hear on the dancefloor, I guess, it’s too complex for that. But it’ll definitely work great in the performance setting. Two more (and shorter) tracks conclude the album: the more abstract soundscape-ish Dystopia, and Point Of No Return, a slightly more laid-back version of Escallation.

Zuydervelt miraculously builds a repertoire that is consistent and recognizable but at the same time surprises with each new release.


De nieuwste releases onder zijn eigen naam is Kaleiding, dat als subtitel “music for a performance by Lily&Janick” heeft. Het is dan ook de naam van de debuutvoorstelling van het moderne circusgezelschap Lily&Janick (via de link vind je meer informatie), dat geleid wordt door Lily Schlinker en Janick Kremer. Ze werken er met licht, reflecties/spiegels en nieuwe perspectieven op partneracrobatiek. Het woord “kaleiding” is overigens een neologisme en is afgeleid van het werkwoord van het woord caleidoscoop. Het beschrijft de actie van reflectie en herschikking en beeld in onvoorziene vormen. De fonetische gelijkenis met het Engelse woord “colliding” gebruiken ze omdat het verwijst naar de bewegingskwaliteit van de twee artiesten ten opzichte van elkaar, evenals het potentieel om met de spiegel te botsen. Het lijkt mij niet eenvoudig daar muziek voor te maken. Zuydervelt heeft hiervoor echter 4 stukken weten te componeren, die een hoorspel van ruim drie kwartier vormen. Circusmuziek zoals je wil, zij het dat dit vermoedelijk andere associaties oproept. De eerste track “Utopia” is een namelijk een langzaam van karakter veranderend ambientstuk, dat subtiel verrijkt wordt met allerlei andere elektronische geluiden en glitches. Naar het einde toe volgen ook meer ritmische klanken en bescheiden beats. Het zorgt ruim 18 minuten voor bezinnende, tot de verbeelding sprekende en biologerende muziek. Daarna volgt “Escallation” van ruim 13 minuten, waar veldopnames, experimentele muziek, rocksounds en IDM elkaar opvolgen en uiteindelijk vermengd raken. Hier kan je al iets meer een dans bij voorstellen, al staat de muziek ook zonder dat fier overeind. Tot besluit volgen nog “Dystopia” en “Point Of No Return”, van respectievelijk ruim 7 en 6 minuten. De eerste sluit in eerste instantie aan op de openingstrack, maar al snel duiken er meer tegendraadse geluiden op; alsof er zaken botsen dan wel afgebroken worden. De laatste track is weer meer voorzien van ritmische sounds en beats. Daarnaast zit daar ook een meer donker vernis overheen, dat voor een prettig melancholische sfeer zorgt. Op knappe wijze weet Zuydervelt meerdere ballen hoog te houden, hetgeen weer een subliem album oplevert. Hooggeëerd publiek: ga dat luisteren!

Utility fog

Among other delights, the Objects & Sounds label's Seasonal Diary III: Curious Enchantment compilation offered up a piece from Rutger Zuydervelt, better known as Machinefabriek, that was credited as a "Kaleiding Outtake". It's an offcut from the music he composed for a performance titled Kaleiding by Lily&Janick, who combine dance and acrobatics in their work. There's a lot of movement in Zuydervelt's pieces, whether through chiming pitched percussion, more sinister bass surges, or lovely interlocking motorik grooves. There's an organic, acoustic feel to the sounds, whether digitally modelled or sampled, that convey a warm humanity even when programmed into complex patterns. One of the most enjoyable Machinefabriek works of late.