zondag 23 december 2012

Remy & Synth.nl - Primitives

First of all I would like to take the opportunity to wish all of you a great Christmas and all the best - in good health - for another fascinating musical year to come, 2013.

Yesterday, Michel van Osenbruggen and I worked on the artwork and album credits of our collaboration album "Primitives". Michel really did an excellent job creating the 3D artwork. Here you can see the cover:

With the - finally - set release date of April 6th, 2013 (at the E-Day Festival in Oirschot), we will have a couple of more weeks for the final mixing, editing and mastering.
It's nice to know that our project is nearing completion, since we did our first recordings back in August 2011.

The album will be released by Groove Unlimited (www.groove.nl). Stay tuned for pre-order information, tracklisting and soundclips.

vrijdag 14 december 2012

Live ambient at the Vishal

My setup with Grote
of St.Bavokerk view.
It should be the beginning of a series of ambient concerts to be organised in the Vishal, situated in front of the Grote of St.Bavokerk / Great Church of Haarlem. I was approached by Joost Verhagen of the Haarlemse Popscene to accompany Belgian ambient act Premonition Factory (aka Sjaak Overgauw) for the kick off of this special "Visfest" event at this excellent location, which definitely has great potentional to make its continuation in 2013.
The exhibition space in the centre of Haarlem offers perfect ambiance and acoustics to fit with the kind of music that was performed yesterday.
At this moment there has been exposed art by Piet Zwaanswijk and Gerrit van Dijk. Prominent Haarlem artist Gerrit van Dijk passed away recently (December 4th), yet wishing the organisation good luck with yesterday's event. Also with approval of his family the performances luckily weren't due to be cancelled.

Co-organiser Peter Stufkens started the afternoon with a talk about the current exhibition, as well as a short history about the origin of ambient music. Accompanied with a demonstration on his Korg Monotron.

Premonition Factory.

After this I started my set of approximately 50 minutes. From the beginning the ambiance felt very comfortable and - also because of the kind of location and the seated area - the 20-30 people audience attended the atmospheric circumstances in absolute silence. The perfect circumstances for a musician!
My setlist:
1. Opening (from "i-Dentity")
2. new untitled track
3. Return of Planet X - part 5 (from the Great Church performance, May 2012)

Me and Sjaak Overgaauw.
As soon as I was finished, Premonition Factory started his gig, which contained (in contrast with my more sequencer-based tracks) pure ambient. Excellent atmospheric music with subtile changes within the tracks to keep everything very interesting for the 45 minutes of the set. Really enjoyed!

After this second concert the successful afternoon ended and I really hope (and actually assume, according to the over-all reactions of the audience, the organisation and the Vishal crew) this kind of events will see a continuation on regular base at this location.

Thanks a lot for the organisation / Haarlemse Popscene, the Vishal crew, Sjaak Overgaauw, and all visitors to make this happen. Already looking very forward to a next edition!

dinsdag 6 november 2012

Studio recording session for "Return of Planet X"

Last weekend I did a studio recording session at the Concrete Karma studio, together with the two violin players Wouter de Ruyter and Dick Bijlsma, cello player Martine de Ket (who all performed during my performance of "Return of Planet X", May 19th, 2012), and sound-engineers Renato Cannavacciuolo and Armand Giesbergen.

As you might already know, I am working on a release of my part of the Great Church project Ron Boots and I organised half a year ago in the Grote of St.Bavokerk in Haarlem.
Although I am very satisfied with the live recordings that were made, there was definitely need to do last weekend's studio session, mainly because of the metronome-issue we had (which disturbed the string recordings for a large part).
Besides this, I felt it was possible to get more out of this project and the collaborating musicians. The recordings went very smooth, so at this moment I am working on a proper mix of the entire piece, combining the recent studio recordings with the live recordings. With the intention to maintain the atmosphere as it was, as much as possible.

There is still a lot of work to do concerning the audio mixing. But there is also still so much work to do to accomplish the video editing part.
So my current planning to have a release before the end of the year, actually seems to be an impossible task.

In the meanwhile there also is a lot of more work to do on the collaboration with Synth.nl, but it's very likely that our "Primitives" release will see the light first (and even still in 2012!). However, I will keep you posted about all progress!

woensdag 31 oktober 2012

E-Live 2012 review

The 24th edition of The E-Live Festival was held again in Theater De Enck in Oirschot, Saturday 27th.
 Besides being present again with a stall, I was also involved into the organisation of the performance of the legendary formation around Dominique Perrier: Space Art.

Their 30-minute showcase was part of the Promotional Tour 2012, for which the French musicians did gigs in the last 5 weeks in Gutersloh (Germany), Benicarlo (Spain), and Frankfurt (Germany). With a couple of new dates to follow in France.

Space Art during fotoshoot
Festival organiser Ron Boots gave me the honourable task to announce Space Art's showcase on stage.
Although the performance of Dominique (keys), Alain Pype (drums), Michel Valy (bass), and Lilli Lacombe (keys, violin and vocals), was modest compared with the one they did at the Electronic Circus Festival in Gutersloh, September 22nd, they again performed a great gig, which was received very well by the +/- 250 people audience.
With slight changes in the tracklist, it was also a surprise to those who witnessed show more than once. Besides introducing the vocals of Lilli (Eternally Revolving - part 3), the band even performed a completely new track, which doesn't appear on the new album.

Dominique during sound-check
(photo by André Stooker)
Stone Art
Optical Illusion
On The Web Again
Cosmic Chiken
Droid Obsession
Eternally Revolving - part 3
New track

Glenn Main, Synth.nl, Remy and Synthex
(photo by Marcel Haster)

E-Live 2012 again was a very succesful day, noticing a lot of people which I haven't seen here before, including quite an amount especially came to hear/see Space Art.
Due to the busy schedule of the day (for me mainly around Dominique and his band) I didn't manage to see any of the other concerts. Unfortunately, because it was a very nice edition, with a lot of variation in the programme: Glenn Main, Space Art, Gert Emmens & Ruud Heij, Bernd Kistenmacher, and AKS.
Luckily there still was enough time to talk with a lot of present people.

Paulien at the stall
Paulien (my wife - who manned the Deserted Island Music / C.Zen Prod stall and managed the sales during the day) and I had a great time again. We ended the day with a very pleasant dinner in a nice restaurant in the centre of Oirschot, together with Dominique, Alain, Michel, and some friends, and before we drove home, we also accompanied the E-Live crew and a lot of musicians at the shoarma-bar!

When already thinking about full-length concerts by Space Art for 2013, it is first time for my own music again, starting this weekend with a recording session with the strings, for the release of my part of the Great Church performance of last May. The collaboration with Synth.nl also has to be accomplished, there has to be recorded a Christmas track for Syndae podcast (I really hate Christmas songs, but for Stefan Schulze's annual Christmas special of his show, I will make an exception... Maybe any of you have some suggestions for a track which I can do for this year's edition? Note that it definitely needs to be in minor, otherwise my suffering will be increased to a max), and I will work on some other projects in which I am involved.

dinsdag 25 september 2012

Electronic Circus / Space Art showcase

Saturday, September 22nd, the 5th edition of the Electronic Circus Festival in Gütersloh, Germany, took place.

One day earlier the Circus already started with a pre-dinner with the already arrived musicians and some visitors (approximately 40 people). Like last year it again was a very welcome start of a nice weekend.

After everyone finished meals, my wife Paulien, Michel van Osenbruggen (Synth.nl) and me, had another drink in a so called 'Biergarten'. Don't know why it was called like that, because they only had a pover choice of only two beers.

Saturday we moved towards Die Weberei in Gütersloh, where the festival took place.
On this day there were performing some fine acts, which the Electronic Circus crew described as 'the best line-up up til date'.
Paulien manned the Deserted Island Music stall for the album sales. Here it was also possible to listen excerpts from the album Synth.nl and me are currently working on.

Because I was also involved into the organisation of Dominique Perrier's "Space Art Tribute" album presentation and showcase, I unfortunately only managed to see a part of Ian Boddy and Erik Wollo's concert, which contained some great music! During the day Dominique Perrier gave some interviews, and I also did one with him for www.jeanmicheljarre.nl, which I will be putting online within the coming days.

After Gandalf's concert, it was time to get the last things prepared and doing the final soundcheck for the come-back of the legendary "Space Art".
Having released three albums in between 1977 and 1981, which sold 3 million copies worldwide, the follower-up "Space Art Tribute" was - finally - being released on the day of their first performance ever in Germany.
Although the album must be seen as a new "Space Art" album, the "Tribute" refers to the passing of half of the band's original setting, drummer Roger Rizzitelli, two years ago.

The time schedule of the band's performance (the showcase started at 23:30) seemed no problem for the present audience.
Dominique Perrier (synthesizers), Michel Valy (bass), Alain Pype (drums) and Lilli Lacombe (violin and synths) performed a couple of tracks from the new release, as well as two "oldies". After their 30-minute gig, the audience really went mad, and asked for an encore. And another one! Definitely a blasting performance!

Thanks a lot the Electronic Circus organisation and crew for another great event at Die Weberei. Already looking forward to the next edition again!

The next event will be the E-Live Festival at Theater De Enck in Oirschot, where Space Art will also be present to have their album presentation, as well as another showcase. Official announcement will follow very soon!

maandag 17 september 2012

Neue Musik aus Zeit und Raum

Saturday September 15th
10:00 Arrival at the Zeiss Planetarium in Bochum, Germany.

11:00-14:00 Setting up all equipment and sound-checking.
18:30-19:30 Organizing the table for cd-sales, and final sound-check for Bernd Scholl.
19:30 Doors open for the audience.
20:10-21:15 Concert Moonbooter (Bernd Scholl).
He did a very nice concert, presenting his newly released "Cosmophonica", consisting of some great and catchy tracks, mixed into a couple of longer parts.
21:20-:21:30 Final sound-check for my concert.
21:45-22:45 My concert.

I've chosen to perform my alter-ego project "Planet of the Arps". In the first place because in my opinion this 60-minute-track would suit perfectly with the space concept of the Planetarium. One of the other associations I've had with this project, are the "arps", or galaxies, as collected by Dr. Halton C. Arp, which were reflected into the visuals that could be seen during my part of the evening.
It was my first concert ever at a planetarium, so I have experienced past evening as a very special one.
The performance went very well, and I hope the 180+ audience had a great time too!
Because I was very concentrated, I missed most of the visuals during my performance... Very unfortunate, but I heard Klaus-Dieter Unger did a great job with the visuals.
22:45-23:10 Encore
Bernd Scholl and I prepared the tracks for the encore by means of remixing each other's tracks.
I have added tracks to Moonbooter's "Interstellar Sunset", and Bernd reworked my MMIX a.D.
Above these prepared mixes we did improvisations.

After the show, it was time for more cd-sales and chatting with people.
Continued by packing and loading all equipment into the car, and after this there was finally some time to relax a bit.

I have really had a tremendous time at the planetarium! It was great to see that quite a lot of people gathered to witness yesterday's concerts.
I would like to thank following people:
- Schallwende (Sylvia and Klaus) and Zeiss Planetarium Bochum for making this event possible.
- Klaus-Dieter Unger for his great job concerning the visuals during the evening.
- Bernd "Moonbooter" Scholl, for the pretty cooperation and collaboration.
- All people who where involved into (the organisation and participation of) yesterday evening.
- Paulien Bouw for her support, assistance and album sales.
- All of you who were present yesterday evening. Some of you especially came to see one or both of us, and in a couple of cases you travelled quite some distance. Some of you really had no idea what to expect and were not familiar at all with the things Bernd and I are doing. Anyway, I hope you were satisfied with the package we had to offer, yesterday evening.

Many thanks and see you soon!

zaterdag 1 september 2012


Yesterday I did another session with Synth.nl (Michel van Osenbruggen) in his Apollo Studio.
Actually there are no sensational details about past evening / night, but resumed: we listened, and we made notes and some adjustments. And it is very nice to know that we more or less still share the same ideas about the direction we want to go into with our project.

In the past weeks I recorded some additional tracks, which Michel integrated into the current mixes. I was very delighted to hear the results of the new versions he has made since our previous session, and it is great to hear the enormous progress the individual tracks have made since the start of our collaboration. When having listened to the tracks after eachother again, it became clear the album is getting shape more and more. Very welcome, because our intention is to create a complete album, and should not just be a collection of tracks.
In the meanwhile Michel also did a great job with the preparations of the artwork, and yesterday we also brainstormed about potential track titles. At this moment we have made a selection of nine tracks with a total duration of around 70 minutes, and for now we both agreed about the the album title: "Primitives".

In first instance we set the album release on October 27th, at the E-Live Festival in Oirschot. At this moment it is not yet 100% certain if we are really going to manage this, but we are definitely on the right track. More concrete information should be available by the end of this month, after we have had some more sessions.

woensdag 15 augustus 2012

Planet of the Arps @ Bochum Planetarium

Saturday September 15th I will be premiering a completely new ambient project, called "Planet of the Arps", at the Bochum Planetarium.
The piece is a work in progress from 2010, and has been 'perfected' since then.
It consists of music which doesn't entirely fit into the REMY-tradition, so I decided to give it another name.
There was no intention to do something that hasn't been done already, but I 'just' wanted to create a piece of ambient music in the style of for example the well-known "Dark Side of the Moog" series bij Klaus Schulze and Pete Namlook.

"Planet of the Arps" refers to the sci-fi movie Planet of the Apes, Arps (galaxies) as collected by Dr. Halton C. Arp, synthesizer manufacturer Arp, and the musical term 'arpeggio'.
I decided to specifically perform this piece on this special evening at the planetarium, because I think the project fits perfectly into these universal circumstances, accompanied by visuals from space.
Also performing this evening: Moonbooter.
At the end of the evening, we will do a session together.

Tickets and information: http://www.planetarium-bochum.de/de_DE/calendar/detail/10653524

Besides the performance of "Planet of the Arps" there is also been worked on a cd release of it, with the cooperation of a familiar name in the EM/ambient-scene. To be continued...

woensdag 1 augustus 2012

Project with "My Breath My Music"

Friday I am going to participate in a very special and challenging project.
In cooperation with "My Breath My Music" there is initiated a session together with some of the students of this establishment.
I have prepared some music, on which we will do improvisations. Really looking forward how things will work out!

The purpose of "My Breath My Music" is to offer people with severe physical disabilities a possibility to make music with for example self-developed electronic instruments.
The main target is people with a muscle desease.
Electronic wind instruments enable disabled people to play an instrument. It also is an effective way to practice the lungs, which is very important for the targetted group.

An especially developed instrument is the Magic Flute. Here is some information, taken from the manual:
The Magic Flute was originally designed as an adaptive musical instrument for people with little or no arm movement - with the goal of allowing people with a wide range of disabilities the ability to perform live electronic music that can be at the highest professional quality. It is also an exciting and rewarding way for people who have limited lung function to carry out Breathing Exercises that will never become tedious to them.
The Magic Flute is not only an instrument but also acts as the remote control for the Control Module (sip & puff).

Detailed information (in Dutch) about "My Breath My Music" and the magic flute can be found on: http://www.mybreathmymusic.com/

zondag 29 juli 2012

Dominique Perrier - Tribute to Space Art - showcases

Recently I have been in contact with C.Zen Prod about the upcoming project of Dominique Perrier (Jean Michel Jarre, Space Art, Stone Age).
In the first place we've agreed a distributional deal for his new album (due to September), to be released on cd and lp, and which will be available for shipping from http://www.desertedislandmusic.nl/, from September 22nd.
Secondly I was asked to have a look at the possibilities for any showcases and album presentations.
Thanks to the cooperations of the organisations of the Electronic Circus and E-Live Festivals, there are arranged some nice opportunities for the audience to get in contact with Dominique and his music.

Besides the already planned showcase in Spain in October, Dominique will also make his appearance at the following events:

Electronic Circus, September 22nd, 2012, Die Weberei, Gütersloh, Germany
Dominique Perrier (keys), Michel Valy (bass) and Alain Pype (sound designer, drums) will perform a 30-minutes showcase, playing tracks from the new "Tribute to Space Art" album, as well as one or two "classic" Space Art tracks.
After the main act (Gandalf) has been finished, the musicians from France will be entering the stage (approx. 23:15). See the festival's website for all details.
During the day, the new album should be available at the Deserted Island Music stall, Dominique will do a signing session, and there will also be some interview sessions for present press*.

E-Live Festival, October 27th, 2012
Dominique Perrier will be present during this day for an album presentation and signing session (at the Deserted Island Music stall), and interviews with press*. Announcement will follow shortly.

The promotional tour should end with a couple of (yet to be confirmed) showcases in France.

* If you are representing a magazine, weblog, radiostation, or are involved into any other related and dedicated business, you can already request an interview by sending me a private message. Invitations will be sent out soon.

Press information:

Dominique Perrier (keyboards) and Roger Rizzitelli (drums) are SPACE ART.
With 3 million albums sold and nominated for the Victoires de la Musique, you have very probably heard about this French group.
After the eponymous mythical 1977 record of which "Onyx" is the extracted title headlight, "Trip in the Centre Head" (1979) and "Play Back" (1980) followed. Then, a long silence. Tours, collaborations, film music and the foundation of another band, STONE AGE.

After the 2009 re-edit of "SPACE ART" and some single releases, Dominique starts to work on new compositions. In connection with the unexpected passing of Roger Rizzitelli, "Revised" was launched in 2010, containing Dominique's dedicated new track "Serenad".
In 2012 Dominique Perrier decides to release a new project: "Space Art Tribute".

Recorded at Ferber Studio in Paris, the 14 titles of this new album consists of new compositions.
Except "Asturias", which is a remix, arranged by Dominique Perrier. For this track several friends came to join the adventure: Laurent Faucheux (drums), Patrick Rondat (guitar), Michel Valy - faithful fellow member of STONE AGE (bass). Sonorities purely SPACE ART with two text interpreted by Janet Woollacott.

To note an exceptional participation of Jean Michel Jarre on one of the titles of the album.

Invited for showcases, Dominique Perrier, accompanied by Michel Valy (bass) and Alain Pype (sound designer and drums), launches an European promotional tour, which will start on September in Germany, then Spain and Netherlands in October, and end in France for several dates.

(press information by C.Zen Prod; adjusted by Remy Stroomer)

zondag 3 juni 2012

Another studio session with Synth.nl

Yesterday I did another very productive and satisfying studio session together with Synth.nl / Michel van Osenbruggen in his Apollo studio.
This time we started listening to all the material which should appear on our forthcoming collaboration album, while making critical notes for changes and adjustments for each of the tracks.
It's nice to find out that we agreed on most of these notes.

One of the tracks seemed not to fit into the whole concept, but we radically changed this one which resulted into a completely different track, which does fit into the project now!
For a large part we have in mind what to do with most of the tracks to get them sound like the way we want.
And we are still struggling with another track. This one still needs a lot of work, but Michel told me everything's gonna be all right, so I will rely on that!:-)
Another session should follow later this month, but for now we devided the tracks to work on seperately in the meanwhile.

At this right moment we have 10 tracks with a total length of 79 minutes to fill the album.
I assume the length will be slightly shortened during the editing process.
All in all the progress of the project is going very well, and although there is still a lot of work to do, we are still on schedule for the release of the album befire the end of the year.
I will keep you posted!

maandag 21 mei 2012

Return of Planet X

Saturday evening it was showtime for a very special project Ron Boots and I have been working on for quite a while.
I performed three times earlier at the great location of the Grote of St.Bavokerk / Great Church of Haarlem, which I concluded with a cd release of this trilogy, last year. In the meanwhile Ron and I discussed the possibilities to organise a music only evening at this same location. Ron playing his music, me playing my music, and concluding the show with a collaboration. No idea about the exact content yet...

As soon as the date of May 19th was set, things became more and more concrete, and I decided to perform again with strings. In 2008 two cello players were part of my performance, and this time I chose to include two violins and one cello into the line-up. Ron had plans to involve a ten-piece choir, which was confirmed in a rather late stage of the project's preparations.
Ron didn't feel much for the inclusion of the Müller organ into the concert evening in first instance, but I thought that it should be an absolutely needed addition to the show. I discussed the use of it with Eric van der Heijden, and finally we decided that we should do our very best to collect the neccesary amount of money to realise this.
About only two weeks before the concert the line-up was finally completed, with the addition of the ten-piece choir and the worldfamous Müller organ.

Around 4 PM the installation of the equipment in front of the huge Müller organ was started. 7 PM everything should have been ready, to have another 45 minutes to 'relax' before my part of the evening should start. Due to a couple of technical issues, we started a couple of minutes later.

Then slightly before 8 PM, the strings trio started to play their first notes, which marked the beginning of my set, and so the start of the evening! My setup consisted of: Access Virus TI, Korg M1, MemoryMoog, Novation Supernova 2, Roland D70, Roland JV880, and I made use of a grand piano! As far as I could judge from the sound from my position and my own experience during my performance, things went fine for the largest part. From time to time I've had contact with the strings trio, which seemed to control their parts, and which gave me the opportunity to let me do my own thing. Halfway my set, I noticed the stability (all 6 voices tuned!) of my MemoryMoog (which I didn't expect at all), which gave me the opportunity to use it more than planned.
I had two options in mind to end my musical piece: concluding with a solo on the grand piano, or leaving the end as it was, with the ending of the sequencer track. After all, I decided to replace these two options by a MemoryMoog ending! My first job was done.

Time to relax a bit while the first break took place and - again some later than expected - Ron Boots kicked off his concert with some late 70's Klaus Schulze inspired music. Starting with a whispering choir, continued by soft synth pads, and later on the introduction of strong sequencer lines. Besides playing his synths, Eric van der Heijden also conducted the choir, and Harold van der Heijden gave Ron's set a boost with his electronic drums. Great stuff, which worked out very well in the ambience of the church.
In the meanwhile the evening outside caused the neccessary darkness inside the church, and the present lightshow and smoking machine reached their maximum effect.

Because the programme delayed about half an hour, and taking knowledge of the fact that we absolutely should have finished the concert at 11 PM, there was decided to continue the third part of the show without the planned second break. In the end this maybe was too intensive, but this decision was taken to get the maximum out of this evening!

Starting the completely improvised part with a quatre mains piece by Ron and me on the grand piano. Followed by an ambient piece, continued by some sequencing. After this Eric performed one of his pieces, and then it was time for the grand finale. Ron and Eric started to build some layered pads combined with V-Synth vocals, while I made my way up to the Müller organ. Although Anton Pauw (the Church's organist) taught me the basics in short, it was kind of guessing what was going to happen when pulling certain registers of this amazing instrument. In the end everything worked out in a more or less very natural way, and all elements of the evening seem to come together perfectly in the end.

In my opinion it was an evening which was above our (the organisation) expectations. Besides this the audience was very enthusiastic too (including a lot who weren't familiar at all with the kind of music that was being exposed last Saturday)!
An surprising amount (200+) international audience (from the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and even U.K.), a great atmosphere and no mentionable problems, made it a memorable evening.

The coming time I will listen and watch to all recordings that have been made.
After this we will see what's possible for an eventual release, and maybe more interesting... a sequel of Saturday evening... Time will tell...

At last I would like to thank all who participated and made this very special evening possible! No names, because there are too much, but resumed: Crew, musicians, church crew, catering, press, media, and of course: the audience!

Featured photos were taken by Andre Stooker and Phil Booth.

zaterdag 12 mei 2012

Final preparations for the Great Church performance

Another week to go before the Great Church performance (which I am organising together with Ron Boots) on May 19th. Preparations are going quite well, the music is finished for 99% and the rehearsals with the strings for my part of the show are also going according to schedule!
As it's now, the line-up for the upcoming concert evening couldn't have been any more complete and exciting than is the case at this moment. Besides featuring synthesizers and other electronics, grand piano, percussion, strings trio, and 10-piece choir, there will be made use of the world famous C.Müller organ.

In my opinion it's a great line-up, at a very special location with great acoustics; a combination which you wouldn't find very often during a concert. Besides that (and definitely not less important) the musical programme is going to be very varied. So probably you can understand I am very, very excited about all things to come next weekend.
To make it all complete, I really hope all of you are able and willing to come and experience this unique evening, and support us (the artists). Tickets are only 12 euros.

Here is a selection of some upcoming media features about the concert:
- Gonzo Circus #109;
- May 13th: Concertzender's X-Rated (exclusive music and more...);
- Interview Haarlems Dagblad, which should be published somewhere next week.

And here are details about the concert:

"The Return of Planet X" - Ron Boots, REMY & friends
Live at the Grote of St.Bavokerk / Great Church of Haarlem
Saturday May 19th, 2012

19:00                  Doors open
19:45 - 20:45      Concert REMY
20:45 - 21:05      Break
21:05 - 21:55      Concert Ron Boots
21:55 - 22:15      Break
22:15 - 23:00      Concert REMY & Ron Boots

Tickets (12 euros) are available from:
Internet: http://shop.desertedislandmusic.nl/greatchurch
Physical: Great Church of Haarlem, Grote Markt, Haarlem / VVV, Verwulft, Haarlem

More information
Website: www.desertedislandmusic.nl/greatchurch
Information and contact: info@desertedislandmusic.nl

maandag 16 april 2012


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.

The playlist:
1. Awakenings - part 1

2. Awakenings - part 2
3. Awakenings - part 3
4. Awakenings - part 4
5. Awakenings - part 5
6. MMIX a.D.
7. Requiem
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!

maandag 12 maart 2012

Schallwelle Awards review

Last weekend I was at the Schallwelle Preisverleihung in the Zeiss Planetarium in Bochum, Germany, where I was nominated in the categories "best artist international" and "best album international".
I didn't expect anything to win at all, but it really was an honour to have reached the final selection of the nominees.
On the evening itself I found out that both my in 2011 released albums had reached the top 10. "i-Dentity" ended on #9, and "The Great Church Trilogy" made it to the best 5. I was quite surprised with that!
Although I finally didn't win any prices, I've again had a great time at this excellently organised event.
It's very nice to have reached it this far, and indeed this wouldn't have been possible without all your votes. So thanks a lot all of you who voted for me and my music; much appreciated!
And Indeed I'd like to congratulate (again) all fellow musicians who won an award!

Together with two of the winners:-)
The afternoon / evening was devided into three parts. To start with the first concert by Erik Wollo. It's always a pleasure to listen to Erik's music, and it worked out excellent at the planetarium. Later on Frank van Bogaert appeared on stage, and they did something together from a previous collaboration. As soon as the concert ended, it was time for the first part of the ceremony, awarding the "best album national" and "best album international". Here I found out that both my in 2011 released albums had reached the top 10. "i-Dentity" ended on #9, and "The Great Church Trilogy" made it to the best 5. I was quite surprised with that!
In the end Pyramid Peak - 5 Vor 12 (national) and Synth.nl - Apollo (international) won the prices.
After this it was time for a break where dinner was served.

With Erik Wollo.
Then the second part started with a concert by Frank van Bogaert. It was very nice for me finally to witness Frank performing. At the end of the performance, Erik Wollo re-entered the stage for another collaboration. They both did an encore by request of the audience. It was a completely unprepared improvisation, where it could be noticed that Frank didn't feel too comfortable (improvisation is not quite his cup of tea), but in the end it worked out fine.
The next awards for "best artist national" and "best artist interrnational" followed and were won by Picture Palace Music (national) and Eric van der Heijden (international). Tommy Betzler (who also works together with Picture Palace Music on their forthcoming album), collected the price for the German collective, due to their absence.

With Michel Huygen (Neuronium).
Hereafter another break for the dessert, and heading for the final part of the show, to start with the first German concert ever of Michel Huygen, aka Neuronium. He exposed an almost sequencerless and rhythmless set, so it fitted excellent into the spacey atmosphere of the planetarium. And also including an encore by request of the audience! Nice!

Michael Wilkes aka Yog Sothoth received the price for "best newcomer" and then it was time for two Special Awards. One for Uwe Saher (Brainwork), due to illness of Uwe collected by Jörg Strawe of Cue Records. He did a nice speech overlooking Uwe's career and the importance of his music for the electronic music scene. After his talk there was showed a video message by Uwe, thanking the audience.
Johannes Schmoelling
and Winfried Trenkler.
And then it was time for something I was looking forward to: the Special Award for Johannes Schmoelling. I've already wrote a blog item about the excellent concert he did with Loom at Theater De Enck in Oirschot, last year. For me that was one of the most special experiences of 2011, which I also talked about again with Johannes after the ceremony. The well-deserved price was handed by 'the legendary' Winfried Trenkler. In 2001 Winfried handed me the price for "best newcomer" at his Schwingungen Awards, so it was nice to meet him and speak with him again at this occasion.
Winfried put himself in the role of the listener / fan of Johannes' music and besides asking aimed questions, he gave a very nice overview of Johannes' career, with the neccessary jokes. In the end Johannes received a standing ovation, and this marked the end of another excellent edition of the Schallwelle Awards!

After this there were some short announcements, and there was also some time to promote the upcoming concert of Ron Boots and me at the Great Church in Haarlem on May 19th, to the audience.

With Winfried Trenkler.
Ok, the event ended about 2,5 hours later than expected, but I've again experienced a great event, excellently organised and hosted by Sylvia Sommerfeld and Stefan Erbe. In the years it has almost grown out like a kind of music festival, which keeps the things very attractive for all visitors: the suspense of the "Preisverleihung", as well as some great performances from well-acclaimed international artists, and the possibility to have a chat with all present - also international - (fellow-)musicians.
Already looking forward again to the next edition!

See http://www.schallwelle-preis.de/ for more information.

The photos on this blog were taken by Paulien Bouw. More photos can be found on my Facebook page.

woensdag 7 maart 2012

Preparations for the Great Church performance

Ron Boots and I will be organising an unique concert evening at the Grote of St.Bovokerk / Great Church of Haarlem, on Saturday May 19th.
At the moment we are negotiating about collaborations, and within approximately two weeks there should be available all concrete information about this concert, including ticket availability, prices, showtime, participating artists, etc.

Check out http://www.desertedislandmusic.nl/ for already available information.

Recently we have had a meeting at this place to discuss various ideas and making some concrete plans.
The three concerts I did at this place were in front of the "Choir", in the very middle of the church, but for this concert, we will install our equipment below the Müller Organ, which creates an excellent view for the audience!

As it is now, I will perform a set of one hour, exclusively composed for this event, inspired by Nibiru, the tenth planet that should be entering our solar system once in 3600 years, and marks a new era of our planet. Which will be this year, according to the Mayan calendar.
Ron's part will be inspired by the music of Klaus Schulze, and especially his end-70's period (for example his album "X"). That's why we have chosen "Return of Planet X" for this evening's subject.
The time that's left after our individual sets, we will do something together!

maandag 20 februari 2012

Another session with Synth.nl

Yesterday I did another recording session together with Michel van Osenbruggen, aka Synth.nl, in his studio. These photos were taken by Michel's wife.

We are working on an album which should be released later this year. At this moment we already have enough material for a complete cd, but there's still a lot of production en editing work to do to finish all selected tracks.

Expect a balanced mix of both our musical styles, and although it will certainly contain the neccessary 'classic' electronic music elements, there can surely be heard enough other influences to keep everything as exciting as possible!

As soon as there are any updates on our project, you will read it here!