While being in the ferry on my way back to the Netherlands for the next couple of hours, there's some time to write down my experiences of Saturday (April 14th) evening's Awakenings, in Burton-on-Trent.
Although having been in the U.K. a couple of times before, it was my first time driving with a car here.
Strange experience, but I got used to the situation quite quickly.
Friday we (Paulien and me) took the ferry from Hook of Holland to Harwich, and had an excellent overnight in Colchester. We've had all the time to prepare our trip to the West Midlands and so took our time to enjoy this trip to the wonderful hilly environment.
Once arrived at the Paget High School in Burton upon Trent - where my concert was going to take place - we've met up with the organisation, crew and other musicians, and there was plenty of time to install my setup for that evening.
The used synths: Roland D70 (piano and Fairlight vox), Access Virus TI (solo lead sounds), Korg 01W/FD (FX and masterkeyboard for the Virus TI) and (indeed) the Novation Supernova II (solo leads).
After the soundchecks and before the first concert was going to take place on 19:00 GMT, we got some food at a local fish and chips. Actually this was quite bad, but o.k., it was more or less eatable!
Because Paulien and I stayed the night after the concert in Derby, we hurried to the hotel because we needed to check in before 20:00.
When getting back to the venue, we missed the first 15/20 minutes of the ambient concert of Peter Challoner.
It was a nice start of an evening with a lot of variation. Secondly, after a short break, Steve Dinsdale (which I strangely had never met before, although I have witnessed the concert he did with Radio Massacre International during E-Live in 2008) started his performance. A very interesting orchestral / percussional beginning of his concert, and after that a mix of old and new material passed the revue. Nice!
After Steve's set of about an hour, another break followed, and my concert was being announced at around 21:30. Showtime!
I've prepared a set of 75 minutes (of which 60 minutes were exclusively composed for this opportunity), which could be best described as a mix of the recent "i-Dentity" and 2008's "This is not the End". It was for the first time ever that my live music was accompanied with (custom made) visuals.
Together with my sister Irene, there has been put a lot of time and energy into the making of the video (which is a compilation of various edited clips I've actually selected on YouTube). Thanks to the advise of Awakenings organisator Jez, the use of visuals made a significant contribution to probably one of my own concerts I've enjoyed the most. According to all reactions it was great to notice that the audience (who were rather unknown with my music) enjoyed it a lot too.
As soon as I've finished my regular gig, there was being asked to do an encore, which I didn't prepare at all.
So I made use of some Supernova II arpeggios (which I programmed for a previous performance) and soloing, in combination with a 01W pad/fx to start a 100% improvisation.
1. Awakenings - part 1
2. Awakenings - part 2
3. Awakenings - part 3
4. Awakenings - part 4
5. Awakenings - part 5
6. MMIX a.D.
8. Encore (improvisation)
In the end it was time to say goodbye and all equipment had to be loaded into the car again, and we headed again to Derby, this time for our second overnight. With the typical English breakfast we couldn't have had a better start of the day.
After the breakfast we went to visit Birmingham, the second largest city of the U.K. It was a nice city to have been to once! In the afternoon we drove to Clacton on Sea to have our final overnight of this little holiday.
I have enjoyed an excellent first Awakenings, which was definitely worth the trip. It would be great to perform there again in future!
It was a pleasure to expose my music for an audience which mainly experienced my music for the first time.
I would like to thank Jez, all involved, and the audience for another unforgettable abroad concert experience. The next to come on September 15th, at the Planetarium in Bochum, Germany. But for now I have to focus on the concert I am organising together with Ron Boots in the Great Church of my former hometown Haarlem. Hope to see you there!