Stairs of Connectedness

With this show I and my fellow screenwriter and Sjiek Literature Prize winner Wim Heijmans want to tell the story of Rolduc and its founder Ailbertus, in a historical as well as contemporary/timeless context.
The form we have chosen is a collage-like film with live music (wood and brass ensemble, organ, children’s choir, male choir and soprano):
various storylines in music, images and words.

The occasion for this show in September 2022 is the 900th anniversary of the death of the founder of Rolduc Ailbertus van Antoing. Many participants have a direct link with Rolduc: as a student, as a teacher, as a tour guide or otherwise.

Abbey Church Rolduc

Saturday 17 (8 pm) and Sunday 18 (2 pm) September 2022

Producer: Jos Smeets (composer, board member of the Limburg Composers Foundation, co-screenwriter and filmmaker) in collaboration with Stichting Ailbertus, Stichting Limburgse Compoisten, Canta Young, Kiek, and many others.

Here’s the trailer:

On 13 November 2021, a local newspaper De Limburger devoted an extensive article to my project. (In Dutch only)

Some principles that led to this project:

– connection/we-feeling: creating together among both participants and the public;
– language/dialect: Euregional connection ->
default language Dutch/German/French vs. common “Ripuarian” dialect: Kerkraads/”Rheinisch/Westfälisch” (DL: Herzogenrath tot Keulen to BE: Gemmenich) dialect.
Kerkraad/Ripuarian dialect:
1. as a connecting, cross-border factor,
2. as a literary language,
3. as identifier,
4. as cultural heritage;
– cultural heritage: Rolduc abbey complex, Duchy of Limburg (up to the Vesdre, Limbourg);
– identity: Kerkradenaar/Limburger/European/World citizan;
– historical awareness: e.g. duchy of Limburg, historical Ailbertus, borders, mining, “bokkenrijders”;
– religious/spiritual experience: from personal to communal;
– contemporary music (Stichting Limburgse Componisten): in an accessible form (film) for a broad audience (from young to old), as a listener and as a performer;
– social relevance: partnerships (Kerkraadse) musicians*, associations, primary schools and/or organisations) and cross-fertilization (from acting/making music to producing);
– promoting young talent: actors (Kiek) and singers (Canta Young).

* including soprano Kim Savelsbergh, organist Jo Louppen, conductor Charles Steffannn, bassoonist Monique Deitz, trombonist Leon Janssen, violist Guus Ghijsen, trumpeters Wilbert Lennartz and former HUB director Ralph Henssen.