Symphony n° I

On Saturday, March 11th, 2017, Symphony No.1, made its world premiere with the National Orchestra of Belgium.

Kevin Houben took inspiration from the work of the American poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), and selected three poems: 'I died for beauty’, ‘There's A Certain Slant of Light’ and ‘Hope’.


The town of Peer (P-E-E-R) - Kevin´s hometown - is embodied in the notes si - mi - mi ♭ - re with an expressive leap of a seventh between mi and mi ♭. This cell is the main motif of the symphony. Also his family name H(ou)BEN is incorporated in the composition as a musical signature. In addition, a rhythmic pattern regularly emerges, which mimics the sound of the so-called ‘clappers’. A clapper is a board with a handle on which, when it is moved, a mallet clacks.

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Song of Hope

Song of Hope (duration 6 minutes) is all about the universal thoughts of hope and solidarity. Kevin Houben took inspiration from the poem ´Hope´ of the American poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886).


 “Hope” is the thing with feathers - 

That perches in the soul - 

And sings the tune without the words - 

And never stops - at all - 


And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard - 

And sore must be the storm - 

That could abash the little Bird 

That kept so many warm - 


I’ve heard it in the chillest land - 

And on the strangest Sea - 

Yet - never - in Extremity, 

It asked a crumb - of me.

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Solitudine N°1 and N°2 - Luna N°1 and N°2

Commissioned by Isabelle Beernaert for Le Temps Perdu.

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