Anne Vanschothorst

Composer and harpist




​Anne Vanschothorst is a landscape music composer and pioneer exploring original minimal/harp (improv.) in subdued chamber jazz and (natural) soundscapes — using overdub and making sound sculptures with 47strings. The Dutch music maker is the first European member of the US composers network She received international critical acclaim as an indie audio-visual producer and publisher for the HARP AND SOUL PRODUCTION HOUSE. Multiple video concepts can be watched regularly at the Stingray TV channels. And the sonic landscapes (sometimes augmented with electronic effects) often evolve into music for in-a-room, film, multi-media and spoken word | museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Gucci, Aimée de Jongh, Studio Drift, Uitgeverij Podium. This inventive, timeless, stilled, poetic, mystical yet edgy sonic universe next to the existing harp planet and music world, indicates that ANNE walks off the beaten track and beyond. Many (inter)national musicians have added the written notes scores to their repertoire. The 'YOU PLAY' platform is an ongoing creativity project that is initiated to share harp and soul music performed by others via videos and sound-clouds. AV is a strong believer in being effective with a simple concept in applied music, harPoetry, ARTfusion and music-recycling. The poet of the harp music [..], has her own way of using words - a specific dialect - to empower her identity and affirm the character of HSM.



What does music mean to you personally?

Music is an antidote to the present, a medicine for the soul.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Yes. Music is about an idea, ones reality and beyond.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?

No, I am not worried. It is ok to have an older audience. It is important to appreciate the listeners one has. And everything is possible. When classical musicians really want to attract an younger audience, they will and they can, without a doubt. If one can imagine, envision to perform for an young and enthusiastic audience and it feels really good - than talk about it, verbalize creative ideas with passion. Most likely others want to be part of the positive vibrations and feel like engaging. And before you know it the original thoughts might actually evolve and manifest in young and real people.

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

Music is art. Earth without Art would be just eh. Art is existential, autonomous, ambiguous, fierce, edgy, expressive, imaginative, impressive, empowering, amazing, fantastically weird. And Art evokes, rebels, moves, shakes, heals, reshapes, reviews, reveals, disturbs, comforts (eg). Above all : Art gives the earth color and a life breath .. with music &love.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

In general; all humans are creative beings. I would like to consider the following: What is it about the work I do that makes me feel good? Am I having fun playing with my ideas? What you give attention grows. Is my creativity flowing? Are my dreams coming true? Am I on the right track? Are things going easy, as supposed to be? During my sound search is the awareness of my well being in the creative process leading. I listen to my intuition. It is such a personal journey. Listen to your inner voice, do what you know and feels best for you and than creativity will naturally flow. To me my life and my work are all about creativity. I feel like a sculptor in an atelier. I am a (music) maker, an artistic director, a co-creator ; i know my way, life is good!

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

In surrender to the enchanted dance with the strings i can actually feel my harp/body and soul resonating, my breathing is my metronome and guide. I live a (day) dream during improv. and (instant) composition, i go with the flow, i have such a strong connection with my instrument. And there are precious moments that my heart and mind are in illusive balance ; i feel one with the music as if i am really awake : i am sensitive and focused at the same time when i want to touch the perfect. While dreaming behind my harp, 'the Empress' enfolded, eventually as sheet music for harp and/or piano solo.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

If you feel like it, go on a sound search on YouTube or Spotify, It is such an adventure finding out about new and unheard music – there is so much to discover in classical music, it feels like a treasure hunt and finding out about lots of fantastic ambient landscapes – even-though not every soundscape is appealing, finding out about the cool stuff is such great fun indeed ... just scroll, zap, click and listen. Enjoy !

Do you think about the audience when composing?

As soon as I have finished a piece I start thinking again ;)

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I have recently launched the 'I am with the poet !' website, an ongoing project. It is an (art fusion) platform for my sonic landscapes (minimal harp in landscape music that reflects and evokes landscape, nature and place) and spoken word projects. With harp and soul and multi-media i make myself known via sound sculptures and harPoetry : a voice beyond words and the unspoken.

Experiment is essential my projects. (HARP)music fused with other art-forms fabrics another sound - motion - shape - color - vision, therefore i use the trial/error method for (free)improv., sound art experiments, spoken and written word (poetry) & (modern) visual art at my HARPlab., where music becomes visible, tactile, moving or a speaking voice and visual art audible. Seemingly unusual ARTfusions trigger innovation, when different worlds meet, exciting new ideas and cutting-edge formats might happen and appear to be of added value. These try-outs inspire to learn and renew my work without artistic compromise, to remain the integrity of the productions. Even-though i take a step back regularly to review and reflect, i am on a constant sound-search - a life-long journey - to go further and forth.