Gertjan Adema
klassiek gitaar, improvisatie & performances


Humming around and around ...

Great giant humming tops will bring you, with their movements and sounds, a joyful, alienating and whirling performance.

The play starts intimate and under control with the giant humming tops as modern dervishes. But when they keep on turning the ambience can change and they become dark and alarming. They turn dizzying and will shiver and rattle till they give light and smoke.

Demo 'Humming around and around ...' op YouTube.

About the project:

Discovering the tops
My humming top performance is basically a combination of two projects I was working on. For a festival performance I was looking for a theatrical way of performing my music. For school performances I was looking for new ideas to make music with children. A friend suggested I should use humming tops in the school performances. During my search for different kinds of humming tops I accidentally found the giant humming tops of Peter Schat (1953-2003), a famous Dutch composer of contemporary music. These tops with a diameter of a meter were exactly what I needed.

Remaining parts
In the seventies Schat constructed six giant humming tops for his composition 'To You'. I found the remaining parts at his son's and at the top designer's place. Unfortunately only parts of four tops had remained and were in a rather bad condition. But they donated me the remaining parts and I decided to try to repair the tops to give them a new life in my own performance.

I sorted out how they functioned back then and how I could use them in my performance. I started a crowdfunding project to collect the money I needed for buying the new parts like bearings, axes and spindles so that I could renovate the scales. But the greatest challenge was to let them sound like real humming tops again. With the toy tops like examples I made a new design for the inner part of the big tops and finally I succeeded in making them hum like real giant humming tops.

Gertjan Adema

Dutch: nederlandse vlag


Friese Dansdagen 2018,
foto's: Toon Hendriks

© 2014 Gertjan Adema. All Rights Reserved