Somersault | Artist Biography
Born out of a love for string instruments, ambient band Somersault creates an orchestral sound that moves between post-classical compositions and a-typical explorations. The project around composer, musician and vocalist Pim ten Have, based in The Netherlands, goes beyond traditional genre boundaries. It utilises composition and carefully arranged instrumentation, as well occasional but laden vocal performances.
Speaking on the driving force behind the project, ten Have explains how being a young adult, as well as working with children, gave rise to his philosophical outlook, which he has tried to convey in the music:
‘It’s an internal juxtaposition of a contemporary lack of structure and security I see in people from my generation, and making sense of the rich world around us. Two things formed important input for the album: Firstly, the grandeur and majesty I find in orchestral sound – composition-wise reflecting this existential experience – a sensing of what some thinkers have called the Sublime. Secondly, working with children reminded me of their open-heartedness, their lack of prejudice and hopefulness. These attitudes stand in stark contrast with the generational vertigo I experience and see around me. I strive to convey a sense of recognition and hope through my music.’
Interestingly, the compositional process itself serves as a metaphor for this process of searching – an interplay between finding structure, wanting control over it, and letting go of fear by surrendering to creativity and practicing trust in the process. Through Somersault, ten Have searches for new forms of structure, truth and beauty. The journey as such is translated into his own musical universe. The mini orchestra designed by him captures the grandeur of the issues addressed, simultaneously perfecting the ability to touch the soul with surgical precision.
Following the 2018 release of a self-titled debut EP, the formation brought ten Have’s compositions to life in Dutch live settings such as Grasnapolsky, Dutch Design Week and Pieces of Tomorrow, as well as receiving support from platforms such as the ‘Dutch Classic FM’ NPO Radio 4.
In 2019, the group went back into the studio with acclaimed producer Maarten Vos, known for his work with
Joep Beving, amongst others. The result is the 5 track album ‘Hypersomnia’, a collection of carefully composed, stretched out musical pieces that offer an immersive experience to the listener. When it comes to influences, names such as Arvo Pärt and Henryk Górecki come to mind, although fans of alternative dreampop/rock and shoegaze bands such as Slowdive are also likely to find points of recognition.
– Words by Marieke McKenna