Sonic Spaces

This project represents an exploration and discovery of sonic spaces with the bass clarinet center stage. Each piece takes its own shape and occupies a unique place in sonic space. Engage personally and emotionally in its sounds, but also understand the objective acoustic nature of each work. The sole aim is to create a point of departure, in order to provide and generate dialogue, discussion, and a way forward towards refinement and reinvention.

    • about Sonic Spaces

      Sonic Spaces is a project being developed by Dutch bass clarinetist Marij van Gorkom (MVG). Through this project MVG seeks to further her instrument, create new music, and find her own path within today's music and art. It allows her to discover new musical possibilities and explore the depths, details, and nuances of her instrument as well as its relationship to electronics and digital media. In the creation of new music MVG collaborates with composers and digital artists.

    • about MVG

      Having studied with Dutch bass clarinet soloists Harry Sparnaay and Henri Bok, MVG can be seen as an exponent of Dutch bass clarinet culture. In a process of continuous reflection and reinvention, MVG continues and expands on the pioneering work of her teachers, while searching for new directions and sonic possibilities. In close collaboration with composers, she uncovers her instrument’s relationship to electronics and digital media under project title Sonic Spaces. 
      MVG presented the first program within her Sonic Spaces project in 2012. This program, titled SS:NNd, consisted of current music for bass clarinet and (live) electronics by Dutch and New Zealand composers and included 6 premieres. She toured New Zealand in May 2012 presenting SS:NNd and giving masterclasses, lectures, workshops, and seminars to composition and sonic arts students at all 5 music departments in the country. Since then she has created SS:UKs, a program with music by Dutch and British composers, and SS:EAm, a program created in collaboration with the Gaudeamus Festival. In 2017 she collaborated with composers from NOVARS, the electroacoustic music department at the University of Manchester, on a program called SS:ARs.

      MVG studied bass clarinet with Henri Bok at Codarts in Rotterdam (2002-2007) and with Harry Sparnaay at the ESMUC in Barcelona (2007-2009). Before this she studied clarinet with Eli Eban at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where the technical foundations of her playing were developed. Other influential teachers are Jan Jansen, James Campbell, and José Luis Estellés. In 2010 she graduated cum laude in chemistry at Leiden University.

      In 2022 MVG completed a PhD, supervised by Simon Emmerson at De Montfort University in Leicester, researching musicianship in electroacoustic music. Her thesis can be found at
    • Contact

      Marij van Gorkom


    • Quotes

      • “You play a kind of weird and really cool synthesizer right?” neighbor (2013)
      • “I don’t think I had ever before heard key clicks performed with such energy and dedication” Peter Plessas, live electronics musician (2011)
      • “Do you have a ringtone of that?” audience member (2010)
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    • Friends

      Interested in supporting this project? Donations are very welcome in any of these three areas of work: creation, education, and electronics.

      Read more about the donation policy

    • Partners

      Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst
      Fonds Podiumkunsten
      Stichting John Kasander 

      design & development |
      film director and editor | Rosa Boesten
      sound projection | Nina Kraszewska 

      Present Bass Clarinet Foundation
      Harry Sparnaay, chairman
      Henk Heuvelmans, secretary
      Hans Bergwerff, treasurer

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