“As an observer you melt away, as it were, and become part of the performance. The addition of constantly changing video images is in perfect harmony with the multilayered compositions that are played.”

“The four performers take you along with them on a journey to the depths of the soul of our existence, which is surely the true purpose of music. The performance feels like a wonderful gift, in which gratitude and respect predominate.”
EMILIE CUMMINGS, artist and winner of the London Biennale 2013


Philippe Petit’s absolute passion for tightrope walking, for becoming one with the wire. The magic of balance and concentration. These formed the inspiration for Onno van Swigchem to compose this performance. Tightrope walking as art form. Aesthetics in full awareness of mortal danger: one moment’s loss of concentration means the end.

drawing Birgitta Schwansee

Onno van Swigchem – concept and composition
Miranda van der Spek – film, editing and live video improvisation
de Bende van Drie – music

In this production filmmaker Miranda van der Spek mixes archive material of tightrope walkers with her own images specially filmed for the project. Timing and editing are carried out on the spot. The symbiosis between music and images and between composition and improvisation, the tension between the concrete and the abstract, the interplay between relaxation and utter concentration reflect the endless quest for perfect balance.


“I was deeply impressed by “Tightrope”. In this production Onno van Swigchem succeeds in creating a total experience, which draws in your entire being. A dizzying world in which music and images become one, and where the interaction of the musicians leaves you breathless. A performance on an exceptionally high level.”
FREDRIKE DE WINTER percussionist (Het Nieuw Ensemble and others)

“The combination of music and images gives you the feeling you had as a child on the carousel at the fair: you never want to get off!”
HUIB DE JONG, saxophonist and aficionado

“In a very intimate setting, Onno and his colleagues were able to create a compelling atmosphere that clearly held the audience’s attention from beginning to end. An ambience was created where time stood still!”
NATHALIE CARIS, former dancer with the Dutch National Ballet and teacher at the Dutch National Ballet Academy

The tension of the tightrope walker and the music complement each other in the performance, generating a magic that grips you right to the end.”
MARJA VAN STRIEN, PAUL MERTENS, concert organisers, Bananenpakhuis and Art in the Room Gouda

trailer: Miranda van der Spek

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