Events — 21, 22 Dec 2018

On 21 and 22 December, the Stedelijk Museum hosts Pitch Dark: a collaborative project by visual artist Giny Vos, cello player Katharina Gross and composer/percussionist Arnold Marinissen.
Museumticket + €3
Teijin Auditorium
21 Dec 2018, 7 pm until 8 pm
22 Dec 2018, 1 pm until 2 pm
22 Dec 2018, 3 pm until 4 pm
Main language
Tickets 21 Dec Tickets 22 Dec

‘Pitch Dark’ is an expression used to indicate an absolute absence of light – a situation that rarely occurs naturally. Therefore, the concept often refers to a situation of near-absolute darkness. But what is it like, when there is really no light at all? How does complete darkness affect our physical and cognitive perception? And does the experience of complete darkness not depend on a prior experience of light?

During the darkest days of the years, and allied with the Amsterdam Light Festival, the performance Pitch Dark will be staged three times in the Stedelijk Museum’s auditorium. Pitch Dark is an interplay of light, drama and music that aims to transport the visitor to another state of consciousness. The images, impressions and sensations caused by the total absence of light form the basis for the performance.

The performance consists of six music pieces, creating different scenes that each have their own atmosphere and light narrative. The interaction between acoustic, optical and spatial stimuli plays with the visitor’s perception in a setting of darkness. Music and the play of light sometimes seem to respond to each other, but each follows its own trajectory. The forms in which light appear in the performance are based on the neuro-physiological effects that occur when you close your eyes: the images, after-images and motions perceived on the inside of your eye-lids.  In the interplay with cello, electronic music, percussion and field recordings, a sense of intimacy and ephemerality is created.

With the assistance of Noor Stenfert Kroese, scenographer in training, and Mila Baumann, stage design KABK. Rob van den Broek created a 12-string cello especially for Pitch Dark.

With the support of the Mondriaan Fund, the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Performing Arts Fund NL and the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.


Cellist Katharina Gross enjoys embarking on adventurous musical journeys. In 2013, together with light artist/scenographer Marion Traenkle and composer Arnold Marinissen she creates the Cello Box, with which she performs internationally to great acclaim. In 2014 she initiates the project cellomondo: composers and their students from a growing number of countries write solo compositions for cello. The project tours in Uzbekistan, New Zealand, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands a.o., and CDs with cellomondo pieces are released by concertello records in 2016 and 2018. In Pitch Dark, a project with music by the duo Gross & Marinissen that is touring since 2017, she collaborates with visual artist Giny Vos. A full-evening solo piece by Jan van de Putte, in which Katharina plays, sings and act, will have its premiere in October 2018. Katharina Gross studied at the Musikhochschule in Cologne with Frans Helmerson, and at the Royal Northern College of Music Manchester with Ralph Kirshbaum. She has received various international awards.

Arnold Marinissen on his work: “To me, music has everything to do with immersion. Warmth and pulse are words that come to mind when I try to describe my music.” He forms a regular duo with cellist Katharina Gross, in which he is responsible for percussion and live electronics. Marinissen’s compositions have been performed by Asko|Schönberg, Ensemble Variances, Exaudi, Lunapark, Nederlands Kamerkoor, Slagwerk Den Haag, Pinquins Percussion Trio, Silbersee, Storioni Trio and others, at the Holland Festival, Biënnale di Venezia, Cross-Linx, November Music and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. His music was featured in the full-length film Bernard and in dance productions by Club Guy & Roni, Korzo Producties and Scapino Ballet. In 2019 Silbersee will perform new work at Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, the Gaudeamus Muziekweek festival and November Music. Marinissen was artistic leader for Slagwerk Den Haag and Lunapark. He was artist in residence at De Doelen in Rotterdam, programmer at Muziekgebouw Amsterdam and curator of various festivals. He is a faculty member of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

Giny Vos is a visual artist based in Amsterdam. Vos creates large-scale projects, mostly but not exclusively in public space. She works with light: LEDs, lightbulbs, neon or daylight, responding to the urban environment through narrative installations. Whether her works are temporary – such as Miracle in Between in New Delhi and Round and Round at the KunstKapel in Amsterdam – or permanent, the locations for which the installations are produced obtain a different character and lose their inconspicuousness. Among Vos’s permanent works are Passage de la Baleine in the center of Leeuwarden; White Noise on the Alticom Tower in the Amsterdam Zuidas area, Reizend Zand on the station square of Apeldoorn and Licht-Wegen in the entrance hall of the new Court of Justice in Breda. Vos’s monument for Jan Zwartendijk in Kaunas, Lithuania was presented in June 2018.