Maya Verlaak: Trace

Maya Verlaak: Trace

Birmingham Record Company
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Release date: 16 February 2024

Birmingham Record Company announce the release of Trace, a new album from composer Maya Verlaak. An experimental composer who consistently challenges conventions, Verlaak finds inspiration for new music in the unique context of each musical situation. The stimulus for each of the six pieces featured on Trace is her own meaningful relationship with each musician.

Because of this deeply personal approach to the composition process every track on this album was recorded in each musician’s home, giving exclusive access to their personal space. This way of working opens up Verlaak’s compositional practice towards new methods, creative solutions and playfulness.

Maya Verlaak (b.1990) is a Belgian composer. She describes her creative process as a ‘scrutinising compositional position’ in which the work is guided by the unique context of each piece. Sharing her creative process is important to her so she develops new notation systems to communicate her concepts. Her compositions are written in such a way that the performers have insight into the compositional process. The music is intended to create space for critical thought; space for the individual listeners and performers to scrutinise the work.

Verlaak's music has been commissioned and performed by diverse ensembles worldwide including Ensemble Klang (NL), Ensemble Modern (DE), Apartment House (UK), Ensemble Interface (DE), LCollective (USA), a•pe•ri•od•ic (USA) amongst others. Her music appears on NMC, BRC and Another Timbre.

Birmingham Record Company presents eclectic and exciting new releases by artists who challenge, innovate and transform ideas of music today; celebrating off-beat work that sits between genres. Since 2019 Birmingham Record Company has been exclusively distributed by NMC Recordings. Trace was made possible with the financial support of the Creative Industries Fund NL and Instrument Inventors Initiative.

Paul Zaba voice, shruti box
Luca Pignata accordion
Kate Ledger piano, voice
Kate Halsall harmonium
Thomas Moore trombone
Howard Skempton accordion
Joseph Kudirka music box, voice




"Overwhelmingly intimate pieces where, in some cases, the performer sings wordless melodies alongside the minimal lines they play on their instruments, with computers injecting various unpredictable pitch choices or melodic shapes." Bandcamp Daily

"Each piece was written for the performers heard here, and the act of Verlaak travelling all over between Berlin and Penrith to record them playing her music at home alludes to a wider project in which the goal is not to make a point, but to find out what may be learned." Boring Like A Drill


Mixing and mastering by Assaf Gidron

Release date: 16 February 2024
Catalogue number: BRC22