vrijdag 16 december 2011

Exclusive Christmas track

Yesterday I've submitted my interpretation of "The Little Drummer Boy", exclusively for this year's Christmas edition of Syndae podcast. The show will be on Friday December 23rd and can be listened to via http://www.syndae.de/.
To be honest I am not a huge fan of Christmas songs, but after being asked several times by host Stefan (who is doing an excellent job promoting electronic music, and came up with very nice concept of his annual Christmas show, containing exclusive tracks from various musicians from the electronic music scene), I 'promised' more than once to come up with a track. Finally, for this special's third edition, I've gathered inspiration and managed to create something (in my opinion) nice!

The track starts quite 'basic', making use of the traditional arrangements, but 'customized' with electronic sounds. During this 'introduction' a voice tells the story behind the track, which is about a drummer boy, who plays his own song over and over again. At a certain point he wants to expose much more than he normally did.
This evolves into a second part of the track which focuses on percussion (which represents the drums of the boy), heavy sequencing and soloing!
Wouter Bessels again did the mastering of the track.

Be ensured to listen to this special show the 23rd. If you are not able to listen, you can always hear the complete later from the archive!

dinsdag 6 december 2011

Updates and recent activities

It has already been some time ago since the last update, actually because there's not much to mention anything concrete about the projects I am currently working on. But ok, here's a short overview:

"The Great Church Trilogy" presentations, airplay and reviews.
 In October and November I presented my latest album, "The Great Church Trilogy", at the Electronic Circus and E-Live Festivals, as well as the bookmarket at the Grote of St.Bavokerk / Great Church of Haarlem (where I did all the concerts, of which this album contains a selection).

Furthermore there has been aired music from my latest album, "The Great Church Trilogy", on several radiostations worldwide, and in the meanwhile the first reviews are appearing. Expect some more the coming time, including a 'recommendation' in the December edition of iO-Pages.

Besides the 'usual' mailorders (e.g. Groove Unlimited, Cue Records, Ricochet Dream) and download platforms (MusicZeit), "The Great Church Trilogy" is now also available from CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, and a very large amount of legal download sites. Just drop me a message if you would like to see my music available from any other store or website.

Current projects
At this moment I am working on some very exciting projects. Actually I can't give you much concrete information on most of the projects yet, but keep in touch with this blog and my websites for latest updates! Here's an overview:

Christmas track
Firstly, I am near completion of the exclusive track for this year's Christmas edition of the Syndae podcast (hosted by Stefan Schulz).
Actually I don't have much with (most of the) Christmas songs (and that's the main reason I didn't get inspiration when I was asked to deliver a track for the past editions of Stefan's excellent show), but this year I got myself together to create something nice (I think)! It will be a ten-minute version of "The Little Drummer Boy". My version of this track tells the story of the little drummer boy, who plays his own song over and over again. The track starts very traditional, almost as 'dull' as the original song, but with an electronic approach. As the regular part of the song ends, the boy wants to expose more of his skills, which develops into a continuation of the track (in my opinion the most interesting part) containing sequences and a lot of percussion! Anyhow, the show (which can be listened to via http://syndae.de/. Afterwards the complete show can be downloaded from this site) will contain lots of exclusive Christmas tracks by various musicians of electronic music, so it will be absolutely worth to listen to this show on December 23rd.

Secondly, I am working on some collaborations. One of them will be - as you might have already noticed when you are following me on Facebook - with Synth.nl (who already contributed on my previous album "i-Dentity"). At this moment we already have a lot of music recorded, and there should follow some more sessions soon, with the intention to finally have an album release somewhere next year.
Another collaboration is being planned with Gert Emmens (who also appears on "i-Dentity"). But more concrete information about this follows somewhere beginning of next year.
Some time ago I've finished an ambient project, but in my ears the most recent mix, 'misses' something. To make this track complete and ready for a release, I asked Wolfram Spyra to work on it. Things for this project should be worked out the coming months, and I am very excited what this project will sound like in the end!
And another interesting studio project I am conducting is a project which involves a couple of well-known names in the electronic music scene. It's a project which has been started quite a while ago (already back in 2010), and it's intended to lead to some very exciting musical creations. Due to working with eight different musicians, and their busy schedules (including myself), it is quite difficult to have a clear working schedule (and because of this, it could easily take another year, or two, to complete the whole concept), but it now finally gets any shape. I really hope to give you more concrete information about this project soon.

If it's still not enough, there are also planned some upcoming concerts in 2012, to start with an appearance during the Ron Boots & Friends new year's concert at Theater De Enck in Oirschot, January 8th. Actually this should have been an surprise appearance, but it already leaked last weekend. Order your tickets from here if you haven't done yet.

And be ensured to put Saturday evening, May 19th in your agenda! Together with Ron Boots I will be organising a very special event at the Great Church of Haarlem. All information, as well as tickets, will be available somewhere in January. To be continued...

Fall 2011, I will also do a concert at the Planetarium in Bochum, Germany. No concrete date set yet, as there are a couple of pending options.

So, that's it for now! ...Oops, did I say it was a short overview? Sorry for that...

Anyhow, really hope to supply you as soon as possible with concrete details about all above!

zaterdag 29 oktober 2011

"The Great Church Trilogy" updates

My new release "The Great Church Trilogy" has been promoted succesfully so far at the Electronic Circus and E-Live Festivals, and on November 12th I will also be present with the new release and my other music at the Grote of St.Bavokerk / Great Church of Haarlem.
Again note that I will NOT be performing that day! I've got a lot of question about this several times, but although I will be delighted if you drop by (and even more if you also buy my music;-)), I can't bring you any live music at this location until somewhere halfway 2012. To be continued...

Furthermore the promotional discs have been sent out to several radio-stations and magazines/e-zines, so expect more airplay and reviews the coming time!

And as we speak the availability of "The Great Church Trilogy" has been extended to CD-Baby and iTunes. Check complete availability at http://www.desertedislandmusic.nl/.

donderdag 20 oktober 2011

E-Live Festival 2011

Last Saturday I presented my new album, "The Great Church Trilogy", at the E-Live Festival in Oirschot.
Time flies, having in mind I gave my last concert half a year ago at the same location, during the E-Day Festival.
The event was completely sold out and besides the familiar faces I’ve also met a lot of people for the first time!

In between the concerts I’ve had a busy time at my stall, and actually didn’t have time to see Matzumi’s concert. I’ve already witnessed her first concert ever at the Garten Party in Hamm, last year, where we also jammed together with MorPheusz.

I did see a part of René van der Wouden’s first (of three) set, which contained very nice Berliner Schule-like music, and depending on the amount of people in the hall (full house) a lot of others appreciated his music too!

One concert I was looking forward to, was Eric van der Heijden’s. Playing a lot of his new album "Dal Segno" (which was released during this day), as well as some of his known tracks. He started solo, and was not much later accompanied by Harald van der Heijden on percussion and Frank Dorittke on guitar.
It was very clear these guys played more than once together, and besides that, they were also having a lot of fun on stage!
The very nice music combined with the nice stage lights and smoke created an excellent mystic atmosphere.
Eric’s perfectionism could be noticed during the concert; well-chosen sounds, and thought-out compositions and melodies made the concert a pleasure to witness!
While the overall-feeling and musical creations reminded me mostly of grand-master Vangelis, the encore (which actually was the only Berlin School-like track of Eric’s performance) made a very nice bridge to the next concert to come, in the end receiving a well-deserved standing ovation of the audience.

After a break of one-and-a-half hours it was time for the headliner of this year’s edition of E-Live.
Shortly before the start it was announced that the concert was going to be performed in two parts, containing an intermission. As a result of this the show ended around 0:15 AM instead of the planned 23:00 PM. People from all over the world (even from U.S.A., Russia and Japan) came over to witness the unique performance of Johannes Schmoelling, Jerome Froese and Robert Waters, aka Loom.
Ron Boots, organiser of the festival (who made an excellent decision to get these guys to Theater De Enck), simply announced this act as: "Ladies and gentlemen: ..... Loom", just to avoid any references with
Tangerine Dream or any of the artist’s solo careers.

The curtains opened and Johannes Schmoelling appeared on stage - under loud applause of the audience - taking place in front of the grand piano, hitting the first notes of (the legendary) "Palace of Dreams". After this magnificent introduction, also Jerome Froese and Robert Waters took place behind their equipment, and the show blasted off with an new untitled track. Followed by Tangerine Dream's "La Marche" and "Catwalk".

After these fine tracks, Johannes told shortly about the establishment of Loom, he introduced the musicians, and he explained Jerome was a little bit compromised, because pain in his right leg.
The show would continue with more songs from Jerome, Johannes and Tangerine Dream, to continue with "Going West" from the 80's movie "Flashpoint".
The next tracks followed with a constant high quality: Schmoelling's "Matjora Is Still Alive", Froese's "A Room In The House Closed To The Public" and another two Schmoelling tracks, "A Long Way Home" and
"Abacus", continued by a collaboration of Jerome and Johannes (which appears on Jerome's third solo album), "Crystal Red". Loom left the stage for the intermission, receiving a loud applause.

As soon as the curtains opened again after the break, Johannes re-appeared and played the grand piano for a second time with one of his own pieces, "Circles". Another excellent solo-piece which again immediately caught the attention of the very respectful and fucused audience!
"Towards The Evening Star" (which is one of my favourite TD-pieces after they went into a (let’s say it respectfully) 'different' direction, early 90’s) continued the show, with all musicians on stage again.
Hereafter Schmoelling's "Rise Of The Smooth Automation" and Froese's "My Reality At 52 Degrees Of Latitude" and "Cartoony Universe" were played. Tangerine Dream's "White Eagle" (which was accompanied with unique images of Tangerine Dream, showing a young Peter Baumann, Edgar and Jerome Froese) and "Beach Theme" continued the extremely constant show, after which the musicians left the stage, to re-appear after the loud applaus and yelling of the audience!

Then it was time for the encores!
Jerome Froese's "A Mellow Morning", followed by the title track of Johannes Schmoelling's latest album, "Time And Tide".
While a large amount of people already started to leave the hall after the last track, the three musicians re-entered the stage once more to perform the energetic Tangerine Dream track "Choronzon".
After more than two hours of music there came an end to the fabulous show!

For me this performance was in first instance very special because exactly a year ago this collaboration was already being announced officially by Johannes and Jerome, at the Ricochet Gathering in Berlin, where I was also present due to my performance at this event. Secondly I think that Tangerine Dream had one of their best and most innovating eras together with and thanks to Johannes Schmoelling.

Although the concert didn't contain tracks which were better than others, it maintained a constant high quality during the complete show. No exceptions!
Where Johannes Schmoelling seemed to be the most significant member, the tasks within the band seemed to be very clear: Robert Waters managing the sequencing and background parts, Jerome Froese playing all guitar parts, including solos, and Johannes Schmoelling playing all melodies and solos, making a lot of use of his Roland Jupiter 8. Although all music was prepared and thought out, each track remained spontaneously and refreshing.

Conclusion: Loom’s concert was a very unique experience, and in my opinion it was the most special concert I’ve ever witnessed during my presence at the past E-Live and E-Day Festivals.
The variation of old and completely new tracks (which actually couldn’t be exceeded by means of sound quality - which was exactly the way they wanted to have it sound like, according to Robert Waters) and material from the individual artists, as well as Tangerine Dream classics, worked out excellent.
The high-level performance, exposing the skills and professionality of the three musicians, in combination with their experience and significance in the music scene, and the chemistry that they had together, made it all complete.
Keeping in mind that this kind of musical experience doesn’t happen very much (read: something really very special happened - which I actually can't describe, but can only be confirmed by those who were there), I am really wondering how many of the present people have really noticed how significant this concert was for the current electronic music scene!

maandag 3 oktober 2011

"The Great Church Trilogy" released

Last Saturday my new album "The Great Church Trilogy" was released at the Electronic Circus Festival in Gütersloh, Germany. The release is a selection of tracks recorded live during my past performances at the Grote of St.Bavokerk / Great Church of Haarlem.

Check http://www.desertedislandmusic.nl/ for soundclips, availability and ordering information.

I've experienced a very nice time at the Electronic Circus Festival, where I saw nice performances and met friendly and inspiring people.
The next event where I am presenting my new album will be (the sold out) E-Live on October 15th. Hope to see you there!

woensdag 28 september 2011

"The Great Church Trilogy" reviews and more...

Only a couple of days left to the Electronic Circus Festival in Gütersloh, where the release of "The Great Church Trilogy" will take place!
If you like Electronic Music, want to see great live performances, have a chat with the musicians, buy their music, etc., it's absolutely worth visiting this annual event! Tickets are available from http://www.electronic-circus.net/.

In the meanwhile there has already been some airplay of the music from my new album, and as soon as the physical promos have been sent out, there should follow more... I am trying to keep you updated as much as possible via my social media, website and this blog!

Recently there have also been published some reviews from my latest albums and compilations featuring one of my tracks, by Sylvain Lupari of Synth&Sequences / Guts Of Darkness.
He has already submitted the first review of the upcoming release:

The Great Church Trilogy

Dutch Masters
E-Day 2011 Sampler

Reviews of some of my previous albums:

And an extensive interview about "EoD":

Note that the original reviews are written in French, and the links to them can be found below each review.

vrijdag 9 september 2011

"The Great Church Trilogy" updates and first airplay

Earlier this week the master of "The Great Church Trilogy" has been sent to the factory and the artwork will be submitted before the weekend, so again everything should be in time for the release, on October 1st.
The final cover-artwork and soundclips have been added to my websites (http://www.desertedislandmusic.nl/ and http://www.exhibitionofdreams.com/).

As there isn't much I can do for the release itself at the moment, I will use this time to send out the first promotional material, press-sheets, and prepare the upcoming album presentations at Electronic Circus, E-Live and The Great Church.

Pre-ordering is possible from Deserted Island Music or by sending me an e-mail directly (remy at desertedislandmusic dot nl)

And a premiere:
Friday evening (September 9th) Stefan Schulz will focus on October 1st's Electronic Circus Festival in his Syndae podcast. Because "The Great Church Trilogy" will be one of the new releases during this event, he will broadcasts an excerpt from the upcoming album in his show.

zondag 28 augustus 2011

The Great Church Trilogy

Yesterday I’ve finished the mixes of the Great Church recordings.
The album is entitled “The Great Church Trilogy”, and will be the second release on my newly established Deserted Island Music.
Coming week Wouter Bessels will do the mastering of the tracks.
The artwork might be adjusted slightly within the coming days.

The album is ready for pre-ordering from www.desertedislandmusic.nl and http://www.exhibitionofdreams.com/ and expected shipping time is September 30th; October 3rd at latest.
The official release is October 1st and the album will be presented at Electronic Circus (October 1st), E-Live (October 15th) and the Bookmarket at the Great Church of Haarlem (November 12th). See www.desertedislandmusic.nl for informations and links.
Running time is around 78 minutes and gives – in my opinion – a perfect overview of the past editions of my performances at the Grote- of St.Bavokerk / Great Church of Haarlem (2007-2010). Tracktitles and soundclips will follow within about a week.

vrijdag 19 augustus 2011

Grote of St.Bavokerk / Great Church of Haarlem - album release

Instead of another "traditional" performance at the Grote of St.Bavokerk / Great Church of Haarlem, there will be an album release (title yet to be confirmed) containing a selection of live tracks from my Great Church Trilogy.
The album is the second release on my new Deserted Island Music label.

In the meanwhile all tracks have been selected and most of the music has been mixed and should be ready for mastering before the end of the month!

The cd will be presented at the following events:
- Electronic Circus Festival in Gütersloh, Germany (October 1st. Tickets: http://www.electronic-circus.net/)
- E-Live Festival in Oirschot, Netherlands (October 15th. Tickets: http://e-live.groove.nl/)
- Bookmarket at the Grote- of St.Bavokerk*, Haarlem, Netherlands (November 12th. Entrance free. Information: http://www.kollektorsitem.nl/)

On these days I will also be present with a stall selling my other music.
* Note that I will not do a performance at the Great Church this year! This edition you can enjoy - of course beside huge amounts of books - music from the Haarlems Amateur Symfonie Orkest.

The upcoming album's artwork and audio-files will follow within the coming weeks!
I will keep you posted about any progress and updates here, my websites (http://www.desertedislandmusic.nl/ and http://www.exhibitionofdreams.com/) and social media.

maandag 8 augustus 2011

Session with Synth.nl at Apollo Studio

Yesterday I visited the Apollo Studio of Synth.nl (Michel van Osenbruggen).
Recently Michel and I already recorded some musical ideas, and on my latest cd, "i-Dentity", there could also be heard some of Michel's skills!
We made maximum use of the day, and globally recorded and worked out some (in my opinion) very satisfying tracks.
As Michel and I have to work on our upcoming solo album releases the coming time, there will be not much time to work a lot on our collaboration until October, but indeed I will keep you posted about the progress of this and another project we are both working on.
We should have some concrete results for you somewhere in 2012 - of course if we are both happy with the final results.
The sessions we had so far were very inspiring and until now it seems we more or less share the same ideas and thoughts about our creations so far!

The coming time I have planned at least one other interesting collaboration, but more details will follow later!

maandag 18 juli 2011

Live at the Great Church

Yesterday I've been busy - together with Wouter Bessels - making a selection of tracks from my past Grote of St.Bavokerk (Great Church of Haarlem) performances, for an album release.

I did a total of three performances on this unique location situated in the centre of my former hometown, in 2007, 2008 and 2010, as musical support of the annual bookmarket.
Each edition consisted of two sets of around 45 minutes, of which one set contained (re-arranged) existing music, and another contained completely new (specially written for this occasion) compositions.

A short overview:
In 2007 my first Great Church concert took place. In first instance it was the intention to perform the new piece live with a brass ensemble. At the very last moment this collaboration was cancelled, and I performed the entire piece on my own, replacing the brass parts by synth parts. The upcoming album starts with the opening piece of this edition.

2008 I chose to involve two cello players (Rachel Mulder and Jasmijn Overbeek) into my newly written musical piece "The Traveller".
Due to temperature issues (it can be very cold in the Church in November, which also was the case this specific year) the cellos went out of tune more than wanted, so it was too hard (read: impossible) to do something with the multitrack recordings to make the final result sound acceptable. I could have chosen to re-record some tracks, but that would not justify the live representation on an eventual album release. As a result of this, one of the pieces without cello has been selected to appear on the album.

In 2009 my musical contribution was cancelled due to the birth of my son, exactly on the day of the performance.
As replacement my to be played sets were played from a prepared disc, which contained a rehearsal from a couple of days before the planned performance.
Although this set was never performed live, I did choose to use one of the featured tracks to appear on the cd.
From the specific piece I've excluded the percussion for a revisited version to appear at the 2010 performance.
For the flow and dynamics of the album, I've chosen to use the original 2009 version (with percussion) instead of the 2010 track.

2010 Was the concluding edition of the trilogy, where I performed last year's "EoD" ("Exhibition of Dreams") set, as well as the new project "Sinfonia Senza Percussione" (as the title suggests, entirely without any percussion), of which most will appear on the new release.
Although I had in mind to only select unreleased tracks, "Silent Conversations" is an exception to this, and will probably also be added because it fits perfectly in between the tracks.

In my opinion this album concludes the Great Church trilogy, giving a perfect overview of my performances in the Great Church so far, representing the overall atmosphere as much as possible, and exposing a variety of tracks which form clear transitions in between my so far released albums.

For those who have never attended one or more of my Great Church performances: expect lots of orchestral sounds and choirs, besides the casual electronics.

For now, I will be busy the coming weeks creating proper mixes. After that, Wouter Bessels is going to do the mastering part.
In the meanwhile I will keep everyone posted here with the progress of the new release.

This compilation of Great Church tracks (title to be announced soon) will be released as the second album on my newly established label Deserted Island Music, and should see the light in October.

maandag 4 juli 2011

Jean Michel Jarre live in Monaco

Last weekend I visited Monaco together with some friends to attend Jean Michel Jarre's concert as part of the royal wedding of Prince Albert II and Charlene Wittstock.
Jarre's free outdoor concert in the shipyard of Monaco was one of the events that was being held during these days of celebration and was a gift of the Royal couple to all Monagasque people and those who visited Monaco on this day.

On the day of our arrival (Thursday, June 30th) we visited the fascinating concert site for the first time, at Port Hercule (one of Monaco's shipyards) where the huge 120 meters long stage was situated, containing eight towers with screens intended for projections.
The afternoon the band (which consisted of the same musicians as the last tour: Jerome Gueguen, Claude Samard, Francis Rimbert, and not to forget Jean Michel Jarre himself) appeared on stage to have their first soundchecks. The organisation was very strict so it was difficult to get close to the artists. During the day Francis Rimbert showed up in the audience, so there was a possibility to have a talk with him. The day before, the soundchecks were cancelled due to very bad weather, of which no traces were left on this day after. The following days the temperatures were around 30/35 degrees, and sound engineer Patrick Pelamourgues told us that he had a real tough job to get all analog equipment (which contained more or less the same approximately 50 synthesizers as the last tour) tuned.
As soon as the soundchecks started it became clear that there were some interesting changes in the tracklist of the last tour, which caused excitement by a lot of the real Jarre-fans. At least "Chronologie 1", "Chronologie 4" (which haven't been performed live since "Europe in Concert" / "Hong Kong" (1993/1994) - and - most surprisingly of all - "Vintage" (from the 2007 album Teo & Tea) were added.
During the soundchecks we searched for the right place to attend for the day of the actual concert, and we decided to take place behind the swimming pool, which was situated in the middle of the concert site. Due to visibility of the huge range of the stage and the excellent sound, even when standing about 100 metres from the stage, we've chosen to take place here.
Later on we had our dinner on a terrace actually in front of the stage, listening the the music to be performed and enjoying our food.
Around 20:00 the soundchecking was ended, and all musicians left the stage and concert site.

Two hours later the dress-rehearsals (the complete show excluding the "Bridal Chorus" and the encore, and without fireworks. Sometimes leaving some space in between the tracks where things were discussed onstage) started with the newly added track "Chronologie 1". Jarre entered the stage via a boat. Excellent choice to start this concert with, and this also caused me goosebumps. This track had been performed for the last time during the tour of which I (conciously) visited my first Jarre-concert ever (Europe In Concert - Brussels, August 24th, 1993). Hereafter the rehearsals continued with "Oxygene 2", "Magnetic Fields 1" and "Equinoxe 5". Then the famous laser harp was introduced. Its beams reaching high in the sky, and Jean Michel performed "Third Rendez-Vous". "Magnetic Fields 2" was the next track, featuring improvised solos by Jerome Gueguen. Then "Souvenir of China" followed, Jarre playing a staccato solo part on it, and after a short speech interruption (which couldn't be heard by the audience), "Oxygene 4" and then "Oxygene 5", where Jean Michel improvised on his Moog Liberation, were to be played. The sequencer of "Variation 3" went completely out of tune and was started all over. Francis Rimbert practised the sequence (which he also did successfully during one of the performances of "Oxygene" at Marigny in Paris, 2007) in the short break before the track was being resumed. "Equinoxe 4" followed, and when this track was finished, Jarre climbed the left-middle tower to perform his solo on "Industrial Revolution 3", which was more coordinated (and rather neared the version to be heard on the album) than his solos on for example "Oxygene 5". "Second Rendez-Vous" started and when the laser harp (which was invisible from a long distance most of the time) was put on, it drifted a couple of times, playing some notes simultaneously and detuning at some points. Hereafter there was again time for an (again unhearable for the audience) speech. Soon after this one of the surprises of this concert followed: "Vintage". Since its release in 2007 it was never been played during one of Jarre's concerts, with the exception of the "Teo & Tea" showcases. However, this track - which was the beginning of the more danceable part of the show - worked out excellent live. The tempo increased with "Chronolologie 2" and "Chronologie 4". Also this fourth track of the 1993 album hasn't been played live for 18 years, so it also was a very pleasant surprise which was carefuly chosen to made up for the finale of this concert. Jean Michel performed one of the best solos on this track I've heard so far! Although I am not always in the mood for "Calypso 3", this track was performed very subtle, turning the over-all volume a bit down to highlight Jarre's solo at the end of the track. Again played for a large part as to be heard on the 1990 album, "Waiting For Cousteau".
The concert was concluded with the - always catchy - "Fourth Rendez-Vous", again featuring some stunning solo work by Jerome Gueguen. No words were being said after this last track, and the people left the concert area after having attended the music and light show for 2 hours.

The day after we went to the shipyard around noon, just to ensure our places. The day of the rehearsals not too many people attended the show in my opinion, and also this morning there were only a handful of fans that gathered at the 'best' places. With a temperature of 30/35 degrees, and no shade on those 'best' places we decided to find a cooler spot, and eventually had a walk around the area, as also later on it seemed like not too many people showed up yet.
Around 17:30 we decided to have our dinner, whereafter we went to the location we wanted to take place. In the meanwhile more people entered the concert site. At a certain point some short musical atmospheric, sometimes classical sounding, pieces could be heard, and only 15 minutes before the show "Waiting For Cousteau" started. The amount of crowd increased 45-60 minutes before the show, and finally there were counted 85.000 present people (according to one newspaper), mainy standing in the surrounding area, but also a lot of viewers could be located on the balconys and roofs of the flats.

And then, finally the show started at 22:00 precisely, because of the live broadcast on television and iternet, starting again with Jean Michel Jarre arriving by boat, and this time finding his way to the stage through the crowd (which took a couple of minutes) while the music was introduced, creating atmosphere. "Chronologie 1" started, while the soundmix (fading in the strings theme too late) wasn't yet as good as the day before, but this time this excellent piece of music was concluded with the first fireworks of the evening. Jean Michel Jarre as it should be!
Then there was reserved some time to introduce the event, Jarre explained the use of non-polluting fireworks, and the Royal couple appeared on stage, thanking all present people and everyone who made this unique concert possible. After Prince Albert II spoke his words, he confirmed his friendship with Jean Michel Jarre. The South African Charlene said some nice words in French, which was clearly appreciated by the Monagasque audience. Then they found their place to the VIP-tribunes to enjoy the concert, receiving a loud applaus of the audience.
Bruno, the flying camera, was introduced to the audience, and mr. Jarre and the other musicians - who where introduced later on - continued the show with "Oxygene 2", which also seemed to have some sound issues compared with the version of the day before. In fact it took me some longer before I really got into the show. According to the very positive response of the audience this probably also had to do with my own critical way of experiencing concerts. And because this concert was my 13th one from Jarre, there was something to compare with. "Magnetic Fields 1", "Equinoxe 5" and "Third Rendez-Vous" where the next tracks. Again the laser harp seemed not to react completely as expected in the beginning, but this accented the 'live'-feeling. Jerome Gueguen again dominated "Magnetic Fields 2" and a point of rest was created with "Souvenir of China". A lot of the audience that know Jean Michel Jarre from his biggest success to date, started to get enthusiastic when hearing the first notes of "Oxygene 4", and in my opinion the tracks that followed, "Oxygene 5" and "Variation 3" (which absolutely belong to Jarre's best tracks in my opinion) were too chaotic and caused a 'weaker' (musical) part of the show. This time the Moog Liberation solo of "Oxygene 5" seemed to fill the track a bit too much and - just like during the rehearsals - the main sequence of "Variation 3" turned out to a completely different theme. The Arp 2600 detuned, but Jarre corrected this professionally during the track.
Then "Equinoxe 4" started a more musically stable part of the show, and "Industrial Revolution 3" maintained the overall excellent atmosphere of the show (which actually never disappeared since the beginning), and although the solo Jarre played while standing on the left-middle tower wasn't perfect, this track always has been one of my favourites to listen to (Actually I always prefer the hear the complete opening track from the 1988 album, but this hasn't been played since Docklands). "Second Rendez-Vous" blasted, but then the laser harp totally lost its way and it took quite a while the beams were under control again, also causing some minor problems with the synchronisation of the fireworks. Anyhow, the finale of this epic track made forget the laser harp incident, and after Jean Michel dedicated the next track to Princess Charlene ("Vintage"... hope he didn't have any meanings by that), the best part of the show started, continued with "Chronologie 2" (which evoluated to one of the strongest tracks that Jarre played live during the last years), Richard Wagner's "Bridal Chorus" (better known as "Here Comes The Bride"), and "Chronolgie 4" (which missed 'something' compared to the version played the day before, but still was part of the climax that was being built). "Calypso 3" formed the some 'silence before the storm', after which "Fourth Rendez-Vous" made it's way for the grand finale, supported by the maximum amount of lights, lasers and fireworks. It should have been impossible for any of the attending people not to get goosebumps or get touched emotionally seeing a show of this calibre. Something which could hardly be imagined to be human creation.
Jean Michel, Jerome, Claude and Francis left the stage after this track and re-appeared to play an encore of "Vintage". Could this probably be a hidden message towards Princess Charlene (depending on al rumours that had been spread the news the days before the marriage) or did the 62-year old French composer chose it, just because it seemed to work out excellent during a concert? The show ended ten minutes past midnight.

Anyhow, for me it was again a great and unique Jean Michel Jarre experience, which absolutely overwhealmed me. It was back in 2005 (Gdansk, Poland) that I had the previous opportunity to see Jean Michel performing an outdoor concert, so I was really excited to witness last weekend's show. Although I really liked his indoor concerts, Jarre is at his best with these huge shows, actually never copied on this scale by any other artist or band in this world, which is one of the main reasons that makes Jean Michel Jarre the entertainer he is.
In my eyes (and ears) "Aero" (Denmark, 2002) and "Solidarnosc" (Poland, 2005) neared perfection more than this Monaco show, but that absoutely didn't affect the outstanding quality of this concert. Besides, it was great to hear such an amount of comparisons with the first Jarre-concert I've ever attended ("Europe In Concert" - Brussels 1993).
I really hope to witness more of these absolutely tremendous experiences in the near future!

donderdag 23 juni 2011

Yamaha EX5 added to studio

While I celebrated holidays in Southern France for the last two weeks, another synthesizer was delivered, which found its place on one of the very few spots left in my studio in the meanwhile: the Yamaha EX5.
I am not going to review it or whatsoever, but recently I've found this piece of "youth sentiment" for a nice amount on the internet. I remember that the synth came out somewhere in 1996 and while playing on it in a music store, I immediately fell in love with its sounds. The past years I used to have my brave old Korg M1 as master keyboard, but because the availability of an extra octave and its very comfortable keys I prefer the EX5 as the new master keyboard.
Indeed I am keeping the M1 in my setup, because I still use it a lot.
As soon as some temporarily storage boxes in my studio have been moved, I will post some photo updates from my setup.

woensdag 8 juni 2011

New website, "i-Dentity" and EM For Life

While being on holidays, it's actually impossible not to be busy with my music...

Recently I've launched the Deserted Island Music website.
Actually it's a raw version 1.0 of the site which I am going to develop as soon as I find time for it, but most important for now is that you can find all necessary informations on it, including ordering details for my music.
There is also being worked on my Exhibition of Dreams website, which will include information about all my past, present and future projects. For the moment it only contains some "i-Dentity" promotion and ordering links. Indeed I will post on this blog as soon as there are any updates available.

Recently there has been added an extensive review of my latest album on the Synth&Sequences blog, by Sylvain Lupari.
His translated review of "This Is Not The End" can also be read on this page. The French versions (also of a lot of my older albums) appear on Guts of Darkness.

Reviews of "i-Dentity" and the E-Day festival appear in Dutch progrock magazine iO-Pages #101.

Electronic Music For Life
Stephan Schelle (of Musikzirkus) did a review of the benefit double album "Electronic Music For Life", which can be read on the new Empulsiv website (launched today).

On the donation tracker you can see the total amount that has already been raised with this project for the DRK (German Red Cross).

donderdag 26 mei 2011

EMFL update, MusicZeit 13 Sampler & GHB trailer

There has not been much news recently as I have started to work on some new musical projects again slowly. Some (collaborational) projects which I hope to have more information about within a short time!
And indeed the usual things "behind the screens" have to happen when being my own record label!:-)

Electronic Music For Life
The benefit "Electronic Music For Life", for which I have also submitted an exclusive track, raised 1420,91 euros so far. Follow the status of the donations to the German Red Cross here: http://www.drk.de/spenden/spendenaktionen?hptitle=em-for-life

If you haven't done already, just order your copy of this double-cd from http://www.mellowjet.de/. Besides it's a 100% benefit project - which actually should be supported by all of you - the compilation's music is very varied and there certainly are enough interesting tracks which you might like!

"i-Dentity" @ MusicZeit
Besides the physical release of "i-Dentity", it's also possible to download my new album from MusicZeit. The only difference is the content: the download version contains the bonus track "Vulnerable".
This exclusive track is a new piece, and rehearsal for my recent performance at the E-Day Festival.
An edit of this track appears on MusicZeit 13 Sampler, which can be downloaded for free here: http://www.musiczeit.com/xtra/sampler/13jutlp7/

Grote Haarlemse Boekenmarkt promo video
I've recorded a short piece of music for a promo video for the "Grote Haarlemse Boekenmarkt", which will be held on June 26th in the centre of Haarlem, The Netherlands.
You can watch the result here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP72CtjPcG8

vrijdag 6 mei 2011

The life after E-Day

Electronic Music for Life
The double album "Electronic Music for Life" - benefit for the earthquake-victims in Japan - has been released officially today.
Excerpts I've heard so far demonstrate this compilation contains a wide variety and an excellent selection of dedicated tracks, most of them exclusively donated for this release.

The concept, all information, soundclips, etc. can be found on the website of MellowJet, which initiated this excellent project!
As 100% of the sales are going to the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz, it's best to order directly from MellowJet!

"i-Dentity" promotion
Last two weeks I've used to slow down little, because I've been rather busy the past half year preparing my recently released album "i-Dentity", the E-Day performance, and the establishment of my new label Deserted Island Music.
Past week I've sent out the first part of the promotion of my new album, and next week more will follow.
In the meanwhile the first reactions appeared on the E-Day website, as well as photos and video clips, and a couple of reviews of "i-Dentity" could already be found on internet.
Keep in touch with my social media; I will post links to reviews, airplay, etc. when I have them available!

donderdag 21 april 2011

Electronic Music for Life

I'd like to get everyone's attention for "Electronic Music FOR LIFE".
I am very honoured that my exclusively for this project recorded track, "Fukushima" also appears on the album.
Find below the official information:

On March 11th, 2011, Japan had to experience the most powerful earthquake of its history. Pictures of the following Tsunami were seen around the world. This natural catastrophe caused extensive and long lasting consequences. In one word: Fukushima. Ten thousands of people died, hundred thousands are homeless. Families, children and old people are fighting for their livelihood.
The world is shocked and takes share in the fate of the concerned. The quiet and proud japanese people welcome this solace.
But even a country like Japan cannot manage the enormous challenges alone. Therefore, the consoling words have to be followed by action!

Based on this thought, Mellowjet-Records started the project "Electronic Music FOR LIFE" shortly after the catastrophe. The idea was to release a compilation and to donate the complete revenue to a charitable organisation. The response and readiness of the addressed artists to support this project was overwhelming. So, INTERDISC agreed to sponsor the first release of a double-cd-production.
Even more artists joint the project. The Eroc Mastering Ranch offered a free audio mastering. Company Rebeat offered the free digital marketing and added a special sponsoring package.
A survey among the participating artists confirmed, that the revenue should be donated to the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (DRK). Due to this remarkable development the DRK was convinced to support this project by allocating their logo.

Within a few weeks only, Mellowjet-Records was able to compile and produce an excellent, 150 minutes long double-cd which involves all faces of contemporary electronic music. Most of the 27 songs from 27 different bands and musicians have been composed exclusively for this project. Only to mention some: Robert Schroeder, Eroc, Bernd Kistenmacher, Rolf Maier Bode, Harald Grosskopf, Mythos, Matthias Beine, Wellenfeld, Dithmar, moonbooter, Uwe Reckzeh, Spyra and many, many more. Besides dreamy sequences of Berlin School, powerful chorals, piano-ballades, orchestral works and danceable electronic music this double-cd offers as well experimental pieces, synthiepop, spacerock, chillout and ambient music. Thus, this album should be part of every collection!

All artists as well as the label waive their share of profits. The whole revenue from sales of the double- cd and downloads will be donated to a project of the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz and will support the people in Japan directly.

The sales price are convenient EURO 13.99 for the double-cd or download. If you want to donate more, please remit the additional amount to the account of the DRK-project.

Please support the victims in Japan by buying this album. Even if the world tends to forget quickly: the misery will remain in the everyday life of the people in Japan for a very long time.

Thank you very much!

Bernd "moonbooter" Scholl

CEO, MellowJet-Records

Ordering information, complete tracklisting, soundclips, and everything else you might need to know about this project can be found here:

Watch the official trailer here:

It is also possible to order your copy via me (by sending an e-mail to remy@exhibitionofdreams.com). The price will be the same (EURO 13.99, excluding shipping), as 100% of this amount will be donated to DRK! I will not earn a single cent on it! Additional donations will be paid to the DRK!

Thanks a lot for your support!