Spectrum Entheogen

Spectrum Entheogen consists of the three percussionists Theodor Milkov (Greece), Arjan Jongsma (the Netherlands) & Anders Elten (Denmark).

Well-renowned individually for their work as percussion soloists, in the spring of 2023 the three musicians joined forces out of a common vision for a new kind of percussion ensemble – one in which the subtle art of marimba playing could be elevated to new heights by exploiting cutting-edge playing techniques to explore previously unimagined musical landscapes. By fully embracing the unique expressive possibilities of the modern five octave concert marimba and by performing exclusively contemporary music written expressly for the ensemble, Spectrum Entheogen seeks to offer a bold new path forward for classical percussion.

The unusual word “Entheogen” is a reference to the Eleusinian Mysteries of Ancient Greece, in which so-called entheogens – psychoactive substances – were used by religious practitioners to connect with the divine. Similarly, Spectrum Entheogen imagines the modern-day classical concert as a ritual in itself, with the performers serving as intermediaries between the audience and the mysterious world of music.

The first project of the ensemble is a 100-minute thematic concert featuring new compositions by the Greek-Canadian composer Christos Hatzis. Titled “Quantum Entanglements & Superpositions”, the new works are ingenious and highly inventive palimpsests on the music of Scarlatti. By utilizing compositional techniques derived from modern neuroscience and quantum physics, Hatzis profoundly transforms the original works by Scarlatti and puts on a daunting display of technical fireworks from the ensemble.

Arjan Jongsma, Theodor Milkov and Anders Elten are Yamaha concert artists.