Optical illusions, dream worlds and endless spirals. The works of MC Escher have become iconic across the world. To celebrate the beloved artist’s 125th birth year NEuE teamed up with the DEFRAME collective and composer Vlad Maistorovici to create a program connecting Escher’s iconic imagery to music. DEFRAME will project live, audio-reactive 3D images while the ensemble performs a mind-bending program.

New work by Romanian composer Vlad Maistorovici, a touching homage to the famous Metamorfose no.2 as well as Maistorovici’s post-Webernesque arrangements of Bach’s canons, so closely connected to Escher’s mathematical world are among the highlights. The program includes Arvo Pärt’s Spiegel im spiegel, also reflected in Escher’s work, as well as the mathematically unified Konzert für 9 Instrumente by Anton Webern, another composer whose use of canons and variations connects with Escher’s imagery.

‘Escher’s legacy has influenced my creative thinking as a composer for many years and working with this wonderful ensemble and DEFRAME’S live visuals will be an unmissable opportunity to experience his art with fresh and relevant music as part of a single all-encompassing artistic whole.’ – Vlad Maistorovici, composer and conductor.

‘Escher’s work is iconic for every visual artist, he was so far ahead of his time. In this project, we will use a 3D projection technique to bring the ideas behind his work into today’s world, amplified by live music. Escher’s work is mathematical in nature, which makes it a perfect source of inspiration for new digital art.’ – Carolien Teunisse, DEFRAME

The performances took place on the 23rd and 24th of February, 2023, in Kunstmuseum, Den Haag.