It is big news in the early music community: The 12 fantasias for viola da gamba solo, written in 1735 by the celebrated baroque composer Georg Philipp Telemann, emerged in a German archive, after having been lost for 250 years. This documentary tracks back the history of these pieces and tells the story of their disappearance, but above all shows how contemporary gamba players from different cultures and traditions, East and West, work with the notes: study them and play them. The core of the film consists of conversations of the director, an amateur gamba player himself, with master gambists about their personal exploration of the ancient works. How do they transform the notes into a personal, contemporary work of art? After the arousal about the rediscovery of the fantasia’s by the German gambist Thomas Fritzsch, it is exciting to find out how other masters on the instrument, from all over the world, approach the new old music – how will they make these silent notes sound?
Produced by Jia Zhao, Muyi Film
Co-produced by Arthur Herman, Zip Records
camera: Onno van der Wal
sound: Marjo Postma
editor: Barbara Hin
Watch the teaser for 12 Fantasias here
‘The Advocate’, a feature film
A feature film project. It is the true story of the life and death of one of the founding fathers of The Netherlands on the edge of the 16th and 17th century, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt. Born as the son of a poor farmer, this ambitious lawyer worked himself up to become the undisputed leader of the country and one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the world. His decline was set by the conflicts he had with Prince Maurits, who was his partner in all his successes but also just as ambitious, intelligent and stubborn as himself. The conflict ended in a beheading that nobody wanted. A 16th century gangster tragedy.
Robin wrote a treatment and made the story into a film idea and a script for a feature film. This highly dramatic historic tragedy has a fantastic opportunity to bring a new ‘genre’ -the 17the century gangster movie – and the political background of this story bears a great urgency in our present world.