November 30, 2023

Waters run, Rivers flow and the Sea Unites:Featuring New European Ensemble and Tony Overwater’s Wereldzee Ensemble

Waters run, Rivers flow, and the Sea Unites

Featuring New European Ensemble and Tony Overwater’s Wereldzee Ensemble

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Event Details:

Date: November 30, 2023

Time: 20:00

Venue: oude of pelgrimvaderskerk

Aelbrechtskolk 22

3024 RE Rotterdam

Musicians performing at this concert  are:

Nizar Rohana (ud)
Maarten Ornstein( clarinet)
Rada Ovcharova (violin)
Tijmen Huisingh (violin)
Emlyn Stam (viola)
Sietse Jan Weijenberg (cello)
Rembrandt Frerichs (Piano)
Tony Overwater (double bass and violone)
Ruven Ruppik (percussion)

This event promises to be an exciting musical experience with a diverse group of talented musicians. If you plan to attend, be sure to check for ticket availability and pricing when they become available next week. Enjoy the performance!

About the Event: The New European Ensemble, Tony Overwater’s Wereldzee Ensemble, will perform the world premiere of newly commissioned work by Tony Overwater.

The New European Ensemble (NEuE): NEuE tells stories through the communicative power of new music. Their aim is to reflect, challenge, inspire, and deepen our understanding of human experience and our environment. The group often combines music with film, literature, theatre, dance, and visual art, collaborating with various renowned entities such as Edward Snowden, Amnesty International, and more.

Tony Overwater: Tony’s project, “Waters run, Rivers flow and the Sea Unites,” explores musical portraits of the rivers that feed the Mediterranean Sea. The Wereldzee Ensemble, comprised of musicians from diverse musical backgrounds, represents the different colors and cultures surrounding the Mediterranean. The project aims to celebrate the cultural diversity of the Mediterranean region, uniting various musical traditions.

The event promises to be a captivating journey into the rich tapestry of musical traditions, blending Middle Eastern, South European, Greek, Balkan, and North African influences. The compositions are carefully crafted to allow for improvisation and interaction among musicians from different genres while providing a familiar yet intriguing listening experience.

Artistic intentions of Tony Overwater:

Waters run, Rivers flow and the Sea Unites

I would like to write a series of musical portraits of the rivers that feed the Mediterranean Sea. The countries and cultures around the Mediterranean have been an inspiration for me for a long time. My ensemble, The Wereldzee Ensemble, gathering some of my favorite musicians from different musical backgrounds, was the result of a composition assignment for the Documentary series Om de oude Wereldzee (Around the Old World Sea, is an early name for the Mediterranean Sea). This resulted in an album and this Ensemble that unites the different colors of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.


The ud, the Arabic lute is already depicted in ancient Egyptian paintings and has been the base for the West European lute and the guitar. The clarinet is a much-used instrument in the Balkan and Turkey. The bass and the violone were first developed in Northern Italy. The violin has its origin in the Arabic rebab. Fortepiano is strongly related to the cymbalon an instrument used in Eastern Europe. Percussion used in this ensemble originates from different regions from Spain, Turkey, the Middle East, and North Africa.

For the project, I would like to focus on the rivers that feed the sea. Originating from very different cultures the rivers flow together in one of the most beautiful seas, where the western civilization is born. Where culture originates on a local level at the spring of the river, downstream it creates some stir and uprise and when it arrives in the sea it unites there with all the other rivers coming from all different regions.

Rivers flowing in the Mediterranean Sea:

Ebro (Spain)

Rhone (France)

Tiber (Italy)

Drin (Albania Kosovo Norther Macedonia)

Maritsa Evros (Bulgaria, Greece)

Ceyhan (Turkey)

Nile (Egypt)

Chelif (Algeria)

Moulouya (Morocco)

I will make portraits of a selection of those rivers and paint a picture of the diversity of the Mediterranean Sea.

Since I started to be involved in the Arabic music culture my biggest desire has been to involve the unique elements of the different musical cultures (Arabic, (South) European, Greek, Balkan, and North African) without losing the distinct flavors. Often, music played and written for these kinds of projects avoids the complexity of the different forms and ends up as a mediocre blend. The odd rhythms, the quarter tones, complex harmony, and the different improvisational approaches can be incorporated but this requires the best musicians and careful composing. Creating freedom and adding construction in a well-balanced composition that leaves room for improvising musicians from different genres to interact and at the same time delivering a listener’s experience that feels both familiar and evokes curiosity. I am happy to say that many of my compositions are being used by different ensembles and are often popular among musicians. By using instruments from seemingly different cultures that are all rooted in mutual history I hope to create a form of music that stands on its own and becomes part of a new tradition in which different musical cultures develop in a natural way to a new musical genre.

  • The music of the Madar Ensemble, a derivative of the Wereldzee Ensemble, stands out as an excellent example of this fusion. You can listen to a performance here: Madar Ensemble.Similarly, the music of the Wereldzee Ensemble is equally captivating. Here’s a video of one of their early performances: Wereldzee Ensemble.For more information about this exciting musical journey, you can explore the following links:

    Tony Overwater’s Quintet project, a part of his foundation Stichting Tonality, plays a significant role in this event. It beautifully combines various musical cultures to create a unique and harmonious listening experience. Don’t miss this extraordinary musical journey that bridges cultures and traditions to form something truly special.





oude of pelgrimvaderskerk Aelbrechtskolk 22 3024 RE Rotterdam