When I Left the Room


When I Left the Room has opened a world of opportunity for me as a composer. When Anderson and I met for the first time last December, I had never written a note of music for a dancer, let alone a 20-minute performance such as this. The way that dancers translate music into movement is fundamentally different from where I’m coming from as a saxophonist or film composer. Compared to film, dance is so abstract an art form, and yet contained within every bodily movement of a dancer is a detailed story which music can help to draw out. The music for When I Left the Room is split into 3 unique movements: Mvt. I: When I Left the Room; Mvt. II: Cohabitation; and Mvt. III: Collective Instinct. Each movement explores the bright and dark shades of interpersonal relationships, always airing on the side of optimism. For keen-eared listeners, each movement contains recordings taken from my daily life in Amsterdam. The first movement uses a percussive traffic click noise recorded in front of the Netherlands Film Academy; the second movement features an atmospheric introduction recorded in front of Westerkerk in my old neighborhood Jordaan; and lastly, Movement III features a most unusual instrument: my apartment’s washing machine.


“The choreography is potent. The dancers are fabulous. The muted palette of costumes lends itself to the body being the primary mode of expression. With Wilhelm Disbergen’s lighting design (always exceptional to see this lighting artist at work) and the original sound composition by Adam Claussen, When I Left the Room is an exciting new piece of dance theatre.”  -Robyn Cohen, The Cape Robyn


Album cover photograph by Michelle Hughes.


This music originally premiered as a part of the dance performance When I Left the Room in Capetown, South Africa in May 2022 by Anderson Carvalho Dance & Choreography.  All of the music on this EP was performed, produced, mixed, and mastered remotely from the Netherlands and Germany by Adam Claussen.


Read more about the dance performance on The Cape Robyn

Read more about Anderson Carvalho's work

Clips from the Original Premiere: