concept – Toine Horvers | voices – Het Retorisch Kwartet


RITE is a time-bound work of art in which singing voices, architectural space and the cycle of light and dark come together. RITE takes place at a time of year when light and dark are in balance and in a space that is sensitive to light and sound.

RITE is based on the five phases in the cycle of light of a 24-hour period: darkness, dawn, daylight, dusk, and darkness. A Gregorian melody has been chosen for each phase, which is sung repeatedly for an hour. Because each singer starts the song at a different time, the melodies overlap each other irregularly. The fabric of sound that arises as a result makes a connection through time with the space and light. Visitors are welcome during each of the five phases of light.

RITE covers the entire day of March 19. It starts at midnight on the night of Friday to Saturday and continues until midnight on Saturday.


Times and songs from RITE on saturday march 19, 2022

darkness 00.00 – 01.00 De profundis clamavi
dawn 06.00 – 07.00 Resurrexi
daylight 12.00 – 13.00 Ubi caritas
dusk 19.00 – 20.00 Misericordias Domini
darkness 23.00 – 24.00 De profundis clamavi


Artist Toine Horvers has a preference for ritualistic forms and movements in his work: repetition, patterns, circles, lines and cycles such as those of light during a 24-hour period. The concept for RITE originated in 1994, when he discovered while experimenting with cassette recorders and endless tapes, that repeatedly playing a Gregorian melody on top of itself resulted in a harmonic pattern of sound.

Gregorian music, in religious tradition, is inextricably linked with light, time and space. Historian Georges Duby writes about the prayer time cycles of monastics expressed in prayer, song, and bell chimes:

“ The life of prayer brought with it an uninterrupted experience of cosmic time. By conforming to its circular rhythm, by withdrawing from any disruptive coincidence, the monastic community already lived in eternity: they had, in reality, conquered death.”

– From The Age of the Cathedrals. Georges Duby, 1976 translated by Ger Groot


The songs in RITE are sung by Het Retorisch Kwartet. The quartet, founded in 2011 by visual artist and singer Olphaert den Otter, focuses on the singing of early music. The quartet saw in RITE a welcome opportunity to immerse themselves in Gregorian music. When choosing songs for each phase, Olphaert focused on both the melody and the content of the song.

The space of the Charloisse Oude Kerk is both grand and acoustic, as well as small and intimate. With its art program, the church actively contributes to the cultural life of Charlois.


concept Toine Horvers
voices Het Retorisch Kwartet
Bernadette van Leeuwen – sopraan
Olphaert den Otter – countertenor
Paul den Otter – tenor
Robert Andriessen – bas
for RITE supplemented with:
Corrie Brands – mezzo sopraan
Toine Horvers – tenor
space Oude Kerk Charlois
light The natural light cycle of March 19, 2022


Location Oude Kerk Charlois, Charloisse Kerksingel 35, Rotterdam.

Free entry, reservation is not necessary.

Public transport from Rotterdam Central Take metro D in the direction of De Akkers, get off at the Maashaven stop, get on tram 2 here, direction Charlois, get off at the Frans Bekkerstraat stop and walk for 4 minutes. Or: take Frequentbus 44, get off at the Katendrechtse Lagedijk stop, walk 9 minutes.



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