Martijn Padding refers to his own way of composing as “making a meal of writing down something quite meager”. That ‘ramschackleness’, as he likes to call it himself, is not necessarily reflected in the sound itself. Indeed: the composer actually loves grand gestures and elaborate orchestration. For him it is about how he orchestrates: often at odds with the musical idea upon which it is based.
Moreover, Padding likes to play with vulgarity, with sounds that are on the fringes of that which is generally accepted to be classical music. And he often develops gestures in his compositions, which he sabotages a little later. That fallibility is subsequently elaborated on very precisely, as a result of which instrumentation has become even more important in the last ten years. On the other hand, a monochrome instrument like the piano also plays an important role in Padding’s oeuvre.
Saying something complicated in a complicated manner, or something simple in a simple manner, is not Padding’s style. Furthermore, the composer loves setting himself new challenges in order to change ingrained habits. That earned him the Edison Classical Music Award in 2011 for the Asko|Schönberg CD recording of his Three Concerti and the Johan Wagenaar Oeuvre Prize 2016.
In recent years, he has composed a number of solo concertos, for example, for the ‘underdogs’ among instruments: Eight Metal Strings for mandoline, a First Harmonium Concerto and his Reports from the Low Country for double bassist Rick Stotijn received its premiere during the series of concerts for the radio programme NTR ZaterdagMatinee this year.
He recently composed Galimathias Musicum for the Dutch orchestra Het Residentie Orkest and fortepianist Domonkos Hegyi.