Music for a performance by Roshanak Morrowatian

1. Bags
2. Places (feat. Roshanak Morrowatian)
3. Hops & Games
4. Traces
5. Obsolete Veil
6. Breath
7. Landscaping

cd/dl/stream, May 2024

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Note: all profit from the cd and download will be donated to Dutch Performing Arts, a campaign for Gaza Children.
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By now I’ve done various other projects with Roshanak Morrowatian, but Kites was the first one, and it holds a special place in my heart. So I’m glad the score is now available as an album.

The Kites performance deals with the question “What is it like to have to flee your homeland at a young age and grow up in an asylum seekers’ centre, in a ‘limbo’ between past and future?” It’s a solo dance piece, based on Roshanak’s own experiences of being on the run and arriving in a new, unfamiliar country. The subject is addressed in poetic, but at times also powerfully insistent and even euphoric ways, strengthened by visual projections and spoken texts.

Working with Roshanak and the rest of the team was a joy. Witnessing the choreography taking shape as the music was being (re)built and refined was fantastic, but the highlight was Roshanak’s parents visiting me, to hand me an old cassette with Iranian hit songs that the family used to play. There’s various snippets of the tape woven into the Kites music, which combines my usual abstract electronic sound world with Persian influences (without sounding too Fourth World-ish, I hope).

Of course you’re missing Roshanak’s strong performance, and Laisvie Andrea Ochoa Gaevska’s mesmerizing video projections, but I hope the music itself will transport you to intriguing places nonetheless.

Rutger Zuydervelt, February 2023



I’ll assume Rutger (‘Machinefabriek‘) Zuydervelt needs no further introduction here. In his massive back-catalogue of music, there are quite some original scores for choreographies or other performances. Usually, these are presented under his own name, as is this one: Kites – Music For A Performance By Roshanak Morrowatian. Kites is the first score Zuydervelt created for Morrowatian. It premiered in 2021, but it is only now released as an album.

Roshanak Morrowatian is an Iranian dancer, choreographer, and actor working from Maastricht (NL). She previously worked with people like Marina Abramovic and Pina Bausch. Her Kites performance deals with her own experience: “What is it like to have to flee your homeland at a young age and grow up in an asylum seekers’ centre, in a ‘limbo’ between past and future?”

Zuydervelt’s score is mainly instrumental, but some of Roshanak’s experiences are voiced in the piece Places, which features her own voice.

Zuydervelt‘s music has no roots in Iranian culture. Still, in this score, he manages to create the feeling of total displacement – especially by subtly incorporating fragments of some Iranian hit songs from a cassette he got from Roshanak’s parents. He adds “I hope they do not sound too Fourth World-ish”. I personally love a good ‘Fourth World sound’, but indeed this is nothing like that. As far as I can tell without having seen the performance, I feel that this score perfectly conveys the message that Morrowatian intended with her performance.

Vital Weekly

To release this on a CD means that he’s confident that the music stands by itself, and it does. The seven pieces here are what I see as a sample card of Zuydervelt’s various musical interests. Of course, the atmospheric side is well represented here, with looped guitar sounds going all drone, deep, intense and minimal. But as with much of his recent work, there is room for shorter loops, sampled spoken word, and even rhythm, such as in ‘Places’ and ‘Traces’. In ‘Obsolete Veil’, he turns to turntablism. There is quite some variety in these seven pieces and no doubt that has to be with a dance performance, but also as a standalone, it works really well. In the past, Zuydervelt may have been stuck to one concept per release; here, he’s confident to play around with various styles, coming up with a most coherent album as a result.


Kites cover 2000px

Kites cover 2000px