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 - 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 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 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!