donderdag 3 juli 2014

"Chill at the Castle - Electric Edition"

Last Friday "Chill at the Castle - Electric Edition", at the Ruïne van Brederode (Santpoort-Zuid), took place.
In advance the weather circumstances were rather uncertain, at least for the amount of rain that eventually could fall. Something we absolutely had to keep an eye on because it concerned an outdoor-event.
During the morning and afternoon we built up all equipment and organised the stage.
It was quite a challenge to get everything to the ruins (and even more to get things back to the cars in the dark) because of the long sandy pathway and the small bridges, across which our stuff had to be transported.

'Master of ceremonies' Bob Rusche.
18:30 the first audience entered the venue. Around 19:45 the evening was kicked off by 'master of ceremonies' Bob Rusche. As soon as he finished his announcement for Free Arts Lab - the first act of the evening - I touched the first keys. While I did, a buzzard flew across the audience twice (as planned). The bird left the scenery and the actual concert started.

Already very early during the set it became clear that there was something wrong with the drummer's sound. Unexpectedly, because during the sound-check everything was fine-tuned.
It took a while before the main issues had been solved, but after this the rest of the gig went fine (as far as I could judge from our stage position).

Free Arts Lab.
Due to this issue it took some effort to get our concentration and the required vibe.
With the third track the issues seemed to be over for the largest part, and we finally could focus on our performance. Which actually was the second gig we ever did so far within the 6 months since the band's establishment. During our first improvisation another bird (this time an eagle-owl) flew over the audience. And two tracks later a screetch owl.

Free Arts Lab tracklist (approx. 70 minutes):
1. Awakenings - part 3; 2. E-Live 2013 - part 3-2; 3. Improvisation; 4. Zeequence 2; 5. The Great Escape; 6. Zeequence 3; 7. Improvisation; 8. MMIX a.D.

Then a break and time for another bird show, which was initiated by my wife Paulien, to give some extra over-all atmosphere.

Wolfram Spyra.
After the break the master of ceremonies announced Wolfram Spyra. The audience was told that Spyra's new release "Staub" was delayed until September, because of technical artwork issues.
This evenening we 'had to do it' with the integral live performance (which was improvised for a large part) of the entire album.
With "Staub" Wolfram returned to his roots and exposed minimal but very strong compositions which were being strengthened even more when the sun appeared behind the horizon. Shortly after Wolfram kicked off his set, the dusk allowed the lights to do their work and create maximum atmosphere. Within a short time the real magic was about to begin.

Wolfram Spyra tracklist (approx. 65 minutes):
1. Dusk; 2. Staub; 3. Glacier; 4. Etude; 5. Ecce Homo; 6. Flur.

Planet of the Arps.
And then, contiguous: "Planet of the Arps".
An ambient piece I wrote more than 4 years ago, and since it had already been accomplished, I had the intention to let Spyra rework it.
Read my previous blog for details.
Due to both our busy schedules it took until last Friday that our first collaborational attempt on this project finally took place.
While we planned to prepare this piece a couple of days before the performance, it never came this far.
Last Friday our collaboration consisted of 100% improvisation around the basic tracks I provided Wolfram a while ago.
Finally these tracks were remixed in realtime live on stage by Spyra. On top of this we both added parts and solos. On the very last moment we decided that Roksana Vikaluk (Wolfram's girlfriend and half of 'Moon & Melody') should also participate with her sublime vocals on the 'grande finale'. It really was a great experience and a pleasure to create music together with Wolfram and Roksana in these circumstances.

The version of 'Planet of the Arps' which we performed consisted of a 22 minutes excerpt from the original one-hour piece.
"Chill at the Castle - Electric Edition" ended slightly past 23:00.

In the end the weather gods had all the best with us, and eventual showers that could have struck us, moved into some places which were a couple of kilometres away from us. So we were blessed with a wonderful summer evening, which we shared together with around 100 visitors.

Paulien with eagle owl Ruud.
Thanks a lot to all the present (international) audience and everyone who contributed and supported.
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank some people in particular:
- In the first place: Dimitri Arpad for his co-operation and the opportunity to organise this evening at the wonderful and magic location of the Ruïne van Brederode.
- Marcel Sukel and Nathalie Nijman who arranged some very significant last-minute issues.
And not in the last place all other volunteers at the ruins.
Illuminated Ruïne van Brederode.
- The musicians: Jeroen Hagen, Martijn Scholte, Wolfram Spyra and Roksana Vikaluk.
- Sound, light and recording crew: Renato Cannavacciuolo, Rogier Gieske, Wouter Bessels, René Bussing and everyone at Showgroup.
- The birdshow: Mart Schrieken (assisted by Paulien Bouw).
- Paulien Bouw for her infinite support and assistance, as well as the initiative and cooperation for the birdshow.
- 'Master of ceremonies' Bob Rusche for announcing the individual concerts.
- Crew: Paulien Bouw, Ray Korsman.
- Film and photo crew: André Stooker, Selmar Koek, Mellanie Swart.
- Everyone who promoted and supported this event.
And indeed all of you who I forgot to mention!

Now it's time to work on other projects. Later this year we will look for the opportunities for an eventual continuation of "Chill at the Castle - Electric Edition", in 2015.

The above featured photos have been taken by Phil Booth (1-4), Anke Betzler (5) and André Stooker (6).