Dick Raaymakers

Dick Raaymakers (NL) was a pioneer in electronic and tape music.

Dick Raaymakers

Dick Raaymakers at the Philips NatLab

Dick Raaymakers (Raaijmakers) (Maastricht, 1 September 1930–4 september 2013) was a Dutch composer, theater maker and theorist. He is known as a pioneer in the field of electronic music and tape music but he has also realized numerous music theater pieces and has published many theoretical essays.



Raaymakers studied the piano at the Royal Conservatoire (The Hague). From 1954 to 1960 he worked in the field of electro-acoustic research at Royal Philips Electronics Ltd. in Eindhoven. There, using the alias Kid Baltan, he and Tom Dissevelt, under the name Electrosoniks produced works of popular music by electronic means (which turned out to be the first attempts of their kind in the world). From 1960 to 1962 he then worked at the University of Utrecht as a scientific staff member. From 1963 to 1966, together with Jan Boerman, he worked in his own studio for electronic music in the Hague. Then, from 1966 until his retirement in 1995, he worked as a teacher of Electronic and Contemporary Music at the Royal Conservatoire (The Hague) and since 1991 also as a teacher of Music Theater at the Image and Sound Interfaculty, at the same conservatory.

For an extensive list regarding Dick Raaymakers life and work please refer to the article Chronology Work and Life of Dick Raaymakers.




Raaymakers’ oeuvre covers a wide variety of genres and styles, varying from sound animations for films to extremely abstract pulse structures, from “action music” to infinite voice patterns, from electro-acoustic tableaux vivants to extracts of music theater. He is considered as someone who combines disciplines such as visual art, film, literature and theater with the world of music. Raaymakers has created numerous electronic compositions, “instructional pieces” for string ensembles, phono-kinetic objects, “graphic methods” for tractor and bicycle, “operations” for tape, film, theater, percussion ensemble, museum and performance, artworks for offices and conservatory, and many soundscape compositions and music theatre productions, including some for the Holland Festival and for theatre company Hollandia. His theoretical essays are evidence of his profound interest in special inter-media connections. For instance, in his latest publication Cahier M (2000) Raaymakers elaborated upon the connections he saw between the 19th-century French physiologist Etienne-Jules Marey, composer Pierre Boulez, architect Iannis Xenakis and the musical views of Piet Mondrian.

One of his most important books is The Method (1985), in which he describes, in an exact but also poetic way, how motion, cause and effect, and their perception are interrelated.






In the 1990s Raaymakers received several awards for his contribution to the development of visual arts and music in the Netherlands: in 1992 the lifetime’s achievement award from the Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (BKVB) in Amsterdam, in 1994 the Matthijs Vermeulen Award from the Amsterdam Art Foundation and in 1995 the Ouborg Award for his lifetime’s achievement from the City of The Hague. In late 1995 the biennial “Festival in de Branding”, organized by the Wagenaar Foundation in The Hague, was dedicated exclusively to Raaymakers’ musical and visual work. In 2005 he received a lifetime's achievement award from the Johan Wagenaar Foundation and an honorary doctorate from the University of Leiden.






Music theater productions and art works

  • The Art of Opening an Exhibition (1966)
  • Radioproject (1966–1967) Radio Project
  • Balade Erlkönig (1967) Erlkönig Ballad
  • Grafisch kwartet (1968) Graphic Quartet Graphic Quartet
  • Kwartet (1971) Quartet
  • Kwartet heiliger Dankgesang (2000) Quartett heiliger Dankgesang
  • Nachtmuziek (1969) Night Music
  • Schaakmuziek (1969) Chess Music
  • Ideofoon 1 (1970–1973) Ideophone 1
  • Ideophone IIdeofoon 2 (1970–1973) Ideophone 2
  • Ideofoon 3 (1970–1973) Ideophone 3
  • Chairman Mao Is Our Guide (1970)
  • De lange mars (1971) The Long March
  • Mao leve! (1977) May Mao Live!
  • Kwintet (1972–1976) Quintet
  • Actio in distans (1977)
  • De grafische methode tractor (1976) The Graphic Method Tractor
  • De grafische methode fiets (1979) The Graphic Method Bicycle
  • De kunst van het machinelezen (1978) The Art of Reading Machines
  • Shhh! (1981)
  • The Microman (1982)
  • Ow! (1983–1984)
  • Soundmen (1984)
  • Come On! (1984)
  • The Soundwall (1982–1984)
  • Hey-hey! (1990) Hey-Hey!
  • Ping-pong (1983–1996) Ping Pong
  • Extase (1984) Extacy 
  • Acht labielen (1984–1985) Eight Labiles
  • Scheuermachine (1985) Scheuer Machine
  • Der Stein (1995)
  • Scheuer im Haag (1995)
  • Tombeau de Glenn Gould (1989)
  • Der Fall Leiermann (1991)Leiermann
  • Dépons/Der Fall (1992)
  • Der Fall/Dépons (1993)
  • Intona (1991)
  • Fort-klank (1993) Fort Sound Fort Klank
  • Probe (1993)
  • De val van Mussolini (1995) The Fall of MussoliniMussolini
  • Hermans hand (1995) Hermans Hand
  • Volta (1995)
  • Konzert für ... (1997–2000) Concert for ...
  • Proefneming met een tabakspijp (1998–1999) Experiment with a Tobacco Pipe
  • De weergave (2000) The Rendition
  • Ritueel moment (2005) Ritual Moment


  • Song of the 2nd Moon (1957)
  • Tweeklank (1959) Contrast
  • Pianoforte (1960)
  • Vijf Plastieken (1961) Five Sculptures
  • Canon-1, super augere (1964)
  • Canon-2, super imprimere (1964)
  • Canon-3, super addere (1965)
  • Canon-4, super sub-trahere (1965/66)
  • Canon-5, super ‘dis-moi …’ (1967)
  • Ballade Erlkönig voor Luidsprekers (1967) Erlkönig Ballad for Loudspeakers
  • Filmmuziek-1: Mechanical Motions (1960)
  • Filmmuziek-2: Bekaert (1966)
  • Filmmuziek-3: Sidmar (1969)
  • Chairman Mao Is Our Guide (1970)
  • De lange mars (1971) The Long March
  • Mao Leve! (1977) May Mao Live!
  • Ach! Ach! (1987) My! My!
  • Plumes (1967)
  • Flux (1967)
  • Lied van de Arbeid (1976) Ode to Labor
  • Kwartet (1971) Quartet
  • Ping-pong (1983) Ping Pong
  • Der Fall Leiermann (1991)
  • Du Armer! (1993)
  • Vier Fanfares (1995) Four Fanfares




  • Raaijmakers, D. (1971) “Ideofoon I 1970; Ideofoon II 1971; Ideofoon III 1971,” Geluid<=>kijken: drie audio-visuele projecten [catalogue]. Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum
  • — (1972) “Ideophone I 1970; Ideophone II 1971; Ideophone III 1971,” Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Cultural Cooperation and Information. Open Research. The Hague: Staatsdrukkerij
  • — (1973) Drie Ideofonen [catalogue]. The Hague: Gemeentemuseum Den Haag
  • — (1977) “Jan Boerman and electronic composition,” Key Notes, no. 5, pp. 45–9
  • — (1978) “Audio-Kinetic Art and Electronics: Three projects by Dutch Composers,” Key Notes, no. 8, pp. 36–43
  • — (1978) “De kunst van het machine lezen,” Raster: de kunst van de machine, no. 6, pp. 6–53
  • — (1978) “Is There Such a Thing as Dutch Electronic Music?,” Key Notes, no. 8, pp. 3–5 
  • — (1978) “Machine lezen,” NRC-Handelsblad, December 1
  • — (1981) “The Electrical Method,” DA+AT. Amsterdam: Visual Arts Office for Abroad, pp. 19–27
  • — (1982) “Twee: De waarnemer,” Raster, no. 22, pp. 159–207
  • — (1983) “‘De val van Benito Mussolini’: een vergeten Hollywoodproject uit 1930,” Raster, no. 29, 7–52
  • — (1984) “Raaijmakers’ weerwoord: ‘visionair plan van Cassius’,” Blotto: filmmagazine in zwart/wit, gewijd aan Laurel en Hardy, volume 1, no. 2, p. 55
  • — (1984) “The Electric Method,” MW, no. 9, pp. 20–7
  • — (1984) “The Graphical Method 2: bicycle,” MW, no. 6, pp. 11–9
  • — (1985) De Methode. Amsterdam: Bert Bakker
  • — (1987) “Electronics in Music Teaching: a Question of Supply and Demand,” Key Notes, no. 8, pp. 47–52
  • — (eds.) (1989) Anti Qua Musica: het “open” muziekinstrument in kunst en antikunst. The Hague: Haags Gemeentemuseum/SDU uitgevers
  • — (1990) “Over het zitten voor elektrofonen,” Raster, no. 50, pp. 7–33
  • — (1992) “Kleine mechanica van de open vorm, deel-1 en deel-2,” unpublished, 344 pp.
  • — (1993) “Het destructieve karakter,” Raster, no. 60, pp. 141–64
  • — (1993) “De provocatieve schroef,” Raster, no. 60, pp. 58–61
  • — and J. Van Slooten (1995) “Maken en breken,” Notes: maandblad over theaterdans, volume 10, no. 10, pp. 34–6
  • — (1995) “De toekomst van elektronische muziek: kaarsverlichting en postkoetsverkeer,” Mens & Melodie, volume 50, no. 11, pp. 616–21
  • — (1995) “De val van Mussolini als muziektheater,” Dick Raaijmakers: de val van Mussolini. Amsterdam: Holland Festival
  • — (1995) “De val van Mussolini: een vergeten Hollywoodproject uit 1930,” Dick Raaijmakers: de val van Mussolini. Amsterdam: Holland Festival
  • — (1995) “The Future of Electronic Music,” Key Notes, no. 29, trans. Muse Translations (John Lydon), pp. 4–7
  • — (1997) “Lichte Muziek,” THD: geen weg terug, January 1
  • — (1998) “Verschuivingen binnen de slagorde,” J. Konstapel, G.J.P. Rijntjes and E. Vreedenburgh (eds.), De onvermijdelijke culturele revolutie. The Hague: SMO
  • — (1998) The Complete Tape Music of Dick Raaijmakers: A Guidebook. Amsterdam: Donemus
  • — (2000) CAHIER-M: Kleine morfologie van de elektrische klank. Serie: geschriften van het Orpheus instituut. Leuven: Universitaire Pers Leuven
  • — and J. Harley (2000) “Reviews Recordings The Complete Tape Music,” Computer Music Journal, volume 24, no. 4, p. 79
  • — (2001) “Motto: tempo giusto,” H. Guittart and J. van der Meer (eds.), Lucht van een andere planeet: 25 jaar Schönberg Kwartet. The Hague/Abcoude: Schönberg Kwartet/Uniepers, pp. 79–80
  • — (2003) “Het destructieve karakter” unpublished, 45 pp.
  • — (2005) Cahier ‘M': A Brief Morphology of Electric Sound. Revised Edition. Series: Collected Writings of the Orpheus Institute. Translated by Richard Barrett. Leuven: Leuven University Press (2005)
  • — (2005) “Scoren met muziek” Muziek OpSchrift: De wereld van de muzieknotatie, edited by R. Berkel.  Tilburg: Scryption, pp. 50–62
  • — (2006) The Complete Tape Music of Dick Raaijmakers: A Guidebook. Aalsmeer: Basta Music
  • — (2009) Method. Edited and translated by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei. Eindhoven: Onomatopee.
  • — (2011) The Destructive Character. Edited and translated by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei. Eindhoven: Onomatopee.

In 2008 V2_ published a complete overview of his works: Dick Raaymakers, A Monograph (Dutch version: Dick Raaijmakers Monografie).





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