Utrecht based Rosa Ensemble is a self-proclaimed post genre music ensemble. Rosa Ensemble operates in between: in between composed and improvised, in between music and theatre, in between light and serious, in between acoustic and electronic, traditional and experimental, classical and popular.
Rosa is constantly on the move and produces music, theatre, performances, concerts and albums – often in cooperation with other artists. Their music is playful, exciting and theatrical, but also strange, unruly and elusive. The ensemble was founded in 1997 with their first performance Diepe Wildernis (Great Backlands), based on the famous book by Brazilian writer Guimarães Rosa, who inspired the ensemble to their name. In the course of the following ten years Rosa slowly drifted away from the idiom of contemporary music.
Their sound changed, electronics were introduced, as well as guitar and bass guitar, and the performances became increasingly theatrical. Rosa flirted with modern dance music (Platotectonics, 2001), ambient music (Music for Supermarkets, 2003, and the CD The Blind Spot, 2006) and launched a very successful tour and CD with music of and inspired by Captain Beefheart (Selling Hoovers in Mojave, 2004-2005). In 2007 Rosa celebrated their ten-year anniversary with a new version of Diepe Wildernis (Anniversie. 2007). Currently ‘Rosa Ensemble’ means several things: music/theatre, such as the multimedia surround performance Anticantate(2009), integrating music, video and text. Concerts exploring their experimental “pop” sound – a poetical mix of richly arranged compositions, swinging rhythms, warm, human electronics and strange lyrics.
Recent projects are Soselo in Siberia with 33 1/3 Collective (2014), Peloton (2015) and Akasha, a brief theatre of everything (2016). Rosa’s latest project was De Deense Detective, a live musical radio noire radio play for ear and eye.
In 2018 Rosa celebrates their 20th birthday with Effata, a collection of songs from their latest productions.