HOKETUS was an influential ensemble for contemporary music in Holland from 1976 -1986. On september 14th 1986 the group gave 2 farewell concerts (afternoon & evening) because it's musicians decided it was enough. It had existed 10 years. In this period the group had commissioned several composers to write pieces for them. And they had played all over the world. They were regarded highly in the international new music scene. This year it is 30 years ago that HOKETUS stopped and 40 years ago that they started. In 6 video films I reflect on the history of the ensemble and it's way of working & thinking.
In the second half of the nineties of last century I organized all kinds of programs about contemporary music in a small theatre in my hometown Nijmegen in the Netherlands called O'42. Amongst these programs were live interviews I did with Dutch composers combined with performances of their music. At a certain moment my main guest was composer Huib Emmer. In our (phone-)conversations about what to do that evening Huib and I agreed to invite The Piano duo (Gerard Bouwhuis & Cees van Zeeland) to play some of his music. This meant that there were 3 guests that all had been prominent members of HOKETUS, so I thought: wouldn't it be nice for the audience if we could show them some images of their former ensemble as part of my interview with Huib? So I went to work.
To keep a long story short: when I approached CNM (Center for Dutch Music) to ask if they knew if filmed material of HOKETUS existed they -to my relief- not only were able to confirm that it did but they even said that the farewell concert of the group in 1986 was filmed and that they had these video recordings at their disposal. Wow! Well, would they be so kind to send me some of that? "No problem", was the cooperative answer and within a week I received a mailed package in which to my total surprise were 3 video-tapes (those were still the pre-internet and pre-dvd days of video folks!) with so much (edited!) material on it that there was reason to presume they had sent me the entire concert. Very impressive!
A little bit strange was that I was not told to deliver it all back to CNM. And also in the aftermath of my Huib-interview there came no CNM requests of this kind. So these unique images (the 3 musicans told me they never had seen them) remained in my possession. And more strange: if this were copied versions, why then was nothing ever done with the original material? Why was it filmed & edited, but never shown to an audience? Why were these tapes catching dust in some forgotten archive to remain unseen?
I decided in 2015 -when I realized we were approaching the 30th anniversary of the ensemble's end and the 40th birthday of it's start- I was going to do something myself. In the mean time I had become a TV-program maker for local TV in Nijmegen so I had gained some of the necessary knowledge. I had invested a little in the equipment how to do that technically. And with regard to the content: it was territory I had become kind of experienced in.
I knew I was not going to make a documentary. Since this is a no budget enterprise it was obvious from the beginning that there was no money to travel long distances to do archive work. film abroad, etc. The only thing that was within the realm of the possible was to take my camera's and visit some of the musicians and composers involved, interview them, and create a filmed oral history. That would be one film. Then I would also make a video of every composition I had the farewell concert version of by combining these images with an interview with the composer of the piece + remarks by some members of the ensemble.
Of course it wasn't possible to interview everybody involved. So I had to make choices who I was going to interview and who I wasn't. Which criteria should I use in deciding which ensemble members I was going to approach for an interview?
Since HOKETUS consisted out of identical instrument groups it immediately seemed logical to me that I should interview one member of each instrument: percussion, bass guitar, pan pipes, piano/keyboards, sax. That I decided to choose for Paul Koek (perc), Gerard Bouwhuis (p/keyb), Huib Emmer (bass g), Patricio Wang (pan p) & Peter van Bergen (sax) was because at a certain moment this were the 5 musicians that formed an important edition of the group LOOS.
These films are dedicated to all the musicians that once were members of HOKETUS and made it the internationally influential Dutch ensemble it was.
HOKETUS part 1 "HOKETUS 1976 - 1986 An oral history" by Bas Andriessen
HOKETUS part 2 "HOKETUS" by LOUIS ANDRIESSEN int & live HOKETUS / video Bas Andriessen
HOKETUS part 5 "GRAY MATTER" by GENE CARL int & live HOKETUS/video Bas Andriessen
HOKETUS part 6 "SPÅRA" by KLAS TORSTENSSON int & live HOKETUS/video Bas Andriessen