Michel van der Aa / Works / 

Shades of Red

Menu button


Dark Light

Shades of Red is a musical conversation about the color red. Its four parts; Carmine, Magenta, Crimson, and Vermilion each showcase a different tonal shade, and reaction-hierarchy between the instruments. The soundtrack extends and mirrors the sound of the instruments and functions as an alter ego of the acoustic sound, confronting the players with a warped version of their own playing. A special role is carved out for the Rhodes and Hammond keyboards, often creating rhythmical markings and impulses that shape the rest of the ensemble.


for ensemble and soundtrack

1 Flute
1 Clarinet in B-flat
1 Trumpet in C
1 Horn in F

1 Keyboard player (Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3*)
1 Percussion player

2 Violins
1 Violas
1 Violoncellos
1 Double bass (low C string)

Soundtrack (laptop, 1 player)

*can be high-quality sampled instruments, like Spectrasonics Keyscape and IK Multimedia Hammond B-3X.




First performance

22 September 2020
Philharmonie, Cologne, Germany

Commissioned by

Kölner Philharmonie (KölnMusik) for the non bthvn project 2020, London Sinfonietta, and ASKO|Schönberg


Boosey & Hawkes


Last performance

22 February 2024

Shades of Red (UK premiere)

London Sinfonietta, cond. Jack Sheen

Southbank Centre, Purcell Room , London, U.K.

All performances of Shades of Red


19 September 2020

World premiere “Shades of Red”

Ensemble MusikFabrik In the coming week three of Van der Aa’s works will be performed in Germany: Shades of Red, a new piece for ensemble and soundtrack, will have its world premiere on Monday 21 September at the Philharmonie in Cologne. Performed by Ensemble MusikFabrik and conducted by Jo...

Read more